FRI UPDATE: Huge weekend preview, Buck Zumhofe update, shooting outside Cabana show, Santo health update, new TNA game, wrestling at Comic Con, tons more!

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

New Japan had an iPPV at 5:30 a.m. this morning Eastern time and 2:30 a.m. Pacific. This is from Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, so it's not as big a show as the usual ones, with the price cut to $20. It's really to set up the 7/20 show, but the card looks good on paper:

Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Super Strong Machine vs. Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka & Jado

Togi Makabe & Manabu Nakanishi & Tiger Mask & Kushida vs. Yuji Nagata & Hirooki Goto & Captain New Japan & Takaaki Watanabe

Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov & Tomohiro Ishii vs. Taka Michinoku & Taichi & Minoru Suzuki Tetsuya Naito & Tomoaki Honma & La Sombra vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Masato Tanaka & Yujiro Takahashi

Kazuchika Okada & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Bad Luck Fale & Karl Anderson

Tama Tonga & El Terrible vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Jushin Liger for the CMLL tag team title

Prince Devitt vs. Gedo for the IWGP jr. heavyweight title

Head-to-head at Sumo Hall in Tokyo is the second WWE house show of its Japanese tour. We're looking for reports on that show.

Friday has TNA's traditional biggest house show of the year, BaseBrawl from MCU Park in Brooklyn with Bully Ray vs. Kurt Angle for the TNA title, Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries in the Bound for Glory series, James Storm & Gunner vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian for the tag titles, A.J.Styles vs. Samoa Joe vs. Bobby Roode, Joseph Park vs. Devon, Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky for the Knockouts title and Eric Young vs. Jessie Godderz.

WWE also has a Smackdown tour house show on Friday night in Wildwood, NJ, which is also a traditional big summer show.

Saturday is UFC 162 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas

Facebook fights at 7 p.m. Eastern time

David Mitchell vs. Mike Pierce

Seth Baczynski vs. Brian Melancon

FX at 8 p.m.

Edson Barboza vs. Rafaello Oliveira

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Dave Herman

Kazuki Tokudome vs. Norman Parke

Chris Leben vs. Andrew Craig

PPV at 10 p.m.

Cub Swanson vs. Dennis Siver

Tim Boetsch. vs. Mark Munoz

Roger Gracie vs. Tim Kennedy

Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira

Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman for UFC middleweight title

Saturday has the Raw crew in Taipei, Smackdown in Ocean City, MD and TNA in White Plains, NY (Team 3-D vs. Jeff Hardy & Samoa Joe street fight, A.J. Styles vs. Kazarian, James Storm & Gunner vs. Bobby Roode & Austin Aries, Joseph Park vs. Christopher Daniels Bound for Glory series match, Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky for Knockouts title and Eric Young vs. Jessie Godderz.

Sunday has a Smackdown brand show in Wilkes-Barre, PA, plus Pro Wrestling NOAH runs at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo with KENTA vs. Naomichi Marufuji for the GHC title, Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka vs. Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls for the GHC tag titles, Taiji Ishimori vs. Super Crazy for the GHC jr. title, Atsushi Onita & Ichiro Yaguchi & Hideki Hosaka vs. Takashi Sugiura & Yoshihiro Takayama & Genba Hirayanagi and Tatsumi Fujinami & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Yoshinari Ogawa & Masao Inoue.

Monday is Raw from Baltimore with the debut of The Wyatt Family and Vickie Guerrero's job review.

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday in Hampton, VA.

The new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter up on the site today features an extensive story on the career of Matt Osborne, from his start,. stepping into the ring with almost no training or experience, his fast rise to being a champion in the Mid Atlantic region, to fights, drug issues, more fights, more drug issues, Big Josh, Doink the Clown and more fights.

We look at the huge reaction to his death and ironies of his Doink run, clowns in wrestling, who was Tough Tony Borne, what wrestling legend was like an older brother to him and how that played into Doink the Clown.

We look at his amateur wrestling days, learning from are shooters, the heyday of Portland Wrestling, why Matt didn't want to be a pro wrestler growing up, and who was the wrestling star who talked him into trying.

We look at his battles with rehab, the start of his career, the sad story of Mad Dog Buzz Sawyer, as well as what was and wasn't real about his landmark feud with Buddy Rose. We also talk about how several different street fights and arrests in different parts of the country changed his career path, including how one of the most successful acts in pro wrestling history got started because of Borne being arrested.

We also look at probably the most regionally famous match of Borne's career, how he wasn't even advertised in the match, and how people 30 years later still talk about it.

We look at Matt Borne's many incidents involving Jim Duggan, his being in the first WrestleMania against Ricky Steamboat, his working in Texas, Japan and South Africa, as well as Mick Foley talks about the challenge of wrestling Borne.

We look at what Borne did that temporarily got Don Owen banned from promoting, the stories behind Big Josh and Doink the Clown, as well as the big rib Doink played on a live PPV show. We look at Borne's departure from WWF, the attempt to use him in ECW, and his 20 year battle to try and get his life in order.

We've updated the Money In the Bank complete lineup and look at it, more writing team shakeups, when Undertaker will be back We also look at how far out the big picture is being decided.

We also look at booking Daniel Bryan, one WWE wedding that just happened and another about to happen.

We also have more on the "Total Divas" show, a look at WWE international business and what the response has been.

We also update on a number of top stars who were in WWE. We also look at Dwayne Johnson at the movies, We look at Ricardo Rodriguez and his drug test failure, new WWE projects, update on Linda McMahon.

We look at why so many stars had the weekend off, and where wee they hanging out.

We also have business notes on all the weekend house shows as well as details on each night.

We also have a look at the end of All Japan Pro Wrestling as it was, and what the future holds for the wrestlers that were in it. We look at the first lineups for the new All Japan, the rosters for All Japan and Keiji Muto's new group, as well as full coverage of the Tokyo Sumo Hall show from the past week.

We also have a full rundown of WWC's iPPV show, built around the two biggest stars in the history of Puerto Rico wrestling, Carlos Colon vs. Invader I. We look at the stakes, the angles and promos and the show.

We also have a look at a study that was done on interest in pro wrestling in Canada. We look at the age old question, are there more wrestling fans that no longer want anything to do with wrestling than their are wrestling fans today? It's the first time this question has been asked, and what we can and can't learn from the answer.

We also look at the age when more people who were fans say they not only don't care a little about it, but not at all.

We also have a look at the visibility of cable stations and how that will affect or not affect ratings going forward.

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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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.

Today's News, Notes and Links

-- Dave and I are here in Las Vegas for UFC 162 and the Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online convention weekend. I've been here since Thursday and have already had a great time doing all-you-can-eat steak at Sambas Brazilian Steakhouse and watching Cirque du Soleil "O". You can find out where everyone is going to be by searching "F4W" on Facebook, or by following me on Twitter @bryanalvarez.

I'm hoping to head to the UFC Fan Expo around 11 AM since several of my friends are going to compete at Grappler's Quest. We'll also be doing tons of audio this weekend, shows before and after UFC, hopefully a "live" experience from the suite party tonight, Observer Live on Sunday afternoon and more. (An early thanks to Dr. Lucha Steve Sims for carting Whitney and I around yesterday).

-- Don't forget besides all the stuff listed in the weekend schedule above, there is also the TNA Hardcore Justice taped iPPV debuting tonight with ODB vs. Miss Jackie, LAX vs. New Church, a hardcore gauntlet match with Crowbar, Crimson, Shark Boy and others, James Storm & Magnus & Bob Holly vs. Aces & Eights in an elimination match, Joe Park/Abyss vs. Mesias in a Monster's Ball match (cameo by Jim Mitchell), plus Jeff Hardy & Brother Runt vs. Team 3-D.

-- There was a shooting outside a comedy club last night that Colt Cabana performed at. No bystanders were hurt, though after three shots, the shooter ended up getting hit in the head. We'll try to have more on this tomorrow.

-- El Hijo del Santo, who did an injury angle with LA Park last week where he was taken to the hospital after receiving a banned piledriver, appears to have done the spot in order to get surgery. He claimed in a press release that the martinete did not, in fact, affect his neck and spine, but rather his abdominals, and he needed surgery to solve the problem. He's suspending all bookings, which means shows he'd scheduled to do he is no longer doing, and says he's not going to be wrestling for the time being. He did vow revenge, so apparently he feels at some point he's getting back into the ring. I suspect there's more to this story.

-- Correction on the reference to Chris Benoit's theme yesterday: it was Our Lady Peace, not Three Days Grace that performed it.

-- Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez was added to UFC 166 in Houston on October 19th.

-- There is tons of MMA coverage in USA Today this morning, all of which you can check out at this link.

-- Buck Zumhofe pleads NOT GUILTY and goes to trial in September.

-- Comic Con 2013 info from Daniel:

Mattel has announced all of their scheduled panels and signings that will be taking place during the San Diego Comic Con.

The annual panel on WWE toys from Mattel will take place on Day One, Thursday, July 18 at 10am-11am in Room 25ABC. The Miz (listed as Miz TV) and Dolph Ziggler will be representing WWE on the panel along with Mattel toy designer Bill Miekina and marketing manager Mitchell Cameron.

The WWE signings taking place at the Mattle booth (#3029) goes as such:

Day One, Thursday, July 18 - The Miz and Dolph Ziggler - 3pm-4pm

Day Two, Friday, July 19 - Rey Mysterio, Mick Foley, and Daniel Bryan - 11am-12pm

Day Three, Saturday, July 20 - Sheamus and Ryback - 11am-12pm

Tickets to the signings are given out at the booth at 9:30am and are first come, first served. They are also day specific, so you can't get a Saturda yticket on Thursday.

Rob Van Dam and retired PWG star Scott Lost will be participating in a panel called "Not So Strange Bedfellows: The Relationship Between Comics and Pro Wrestling" on Day One, Thursday, July 18 at 8pm-9pm in Room 9. Joshua Waldrop of M1W will serve as moderator.

-- Outlaw Adam Knight has written a book called Cowboy Ending. You can order the book by clicking here.

What did you think of Countdown to UFC 163?
Excellent 15.0%
Good 25.0%
Average 20.0%
Fair 5.0%
Poor 35.0%
68.3% of those responding didn't see the show

What did you think of WWE Main Event?
Excellent 13.8%
Good 34.5%
Average 27.6%
Fair 10.3%
Poor 13.8%
57.4% of those responding didn't see the show

Do you think UFC should promote a Roy Jones Jr. vs. Anderson Silva boxing match?
No, it's a freak show fight they shouldn't be involved with 44.4%
Yes, fans will buy it 20.6%
No, boxing shouldn't be on a UFC show 13.1%
There is no interest in this fight 11.9%
Yes, but it should be on an all-boxing show 10.0%

-- TCW Wrestling will present Rumble Riot this Saturday, in Clarksville, AR. They are paying tribute to Matt Borne and Jackie Fargo.

-- Steve Corino will appear this Saturday for RWC in Lumberton, NC at the Lumberton Indoor Flea Market located on 612 2nd Street.

Today In Wrestling History With Brian Hoops

1915 - Joe Stecher defeated Charlie Cutler for the World Heavyweight Title in Omaha, Nebraska.

1956 - Kay Bell defeated Buddy Rogers to win the NWA Texas Heavyweight Title in Houston, Texas

1962 - Buddy Rogers and Johnny Barend defeated Johnny Valentine and Bob Ellis for the Northeast version of the NWA United States Tag Team Title (which would soon become the WWWF United States Tag Team Title) in Washington, DC.

1962 - Hans Schmidt defeated Pat O'Connor in Greensboro, North Carolina to win the NWA United States Heavyweight Title.

1968 - Ramon and Alberto Torres defeated El Mongol and Tarzan Tyler in a one-night tournament final in Atlanta, Georgia to become the first NWA Georgia Tag Team Champions.

1969 - Johnny Walker and Bearcat Brown defeated The Great Mephisto and Dante to become NWA World Tag Team Champions (Mid-America version) in Chattanooga, Tennessee

1971 - Steven Little Bear and Dean Higuchi defeated The Skull Brothers in Vancouver, British Columbia, to win the Vancouver version of the NWA Canadian Tag Team Title

1972 - Hiro Matsuda and Tim Woods defeated The Zodiac (Bob Orton) and Taurus (Dennis Hall) for the NWA Florida Tag Team Title in Miami, Florida.

1974 - Buddy Colt defeated Mr. Wrestling II to win the NWA Georgia Heavyweight Title in Atlanta, Georgia,

1975 - The Sheik defeated Bobo Brazil in Detroit, Michigan for the Detroit version of the NWA United States Heavyweight Title

1982 - Kevin and Kerry Von Erich defeated King Kong Bundy and Bugsy McGraw to win the World Class American Tag Team Title in Fort Worth, Texas.

1982 - Stan Lane and Ron Bass defeated The Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey and Norvell Austin) for the AWA Southern Tag Team Title in Memphis, Tennessee

1985 - Iceman Parsons defeated Chris Adams for the World Class American Heavyweight Title in Dallas, Texas

1985 - Scott Armstrong defeated Bill Ash to win the Southeast version of the NWA United States Junior Heavyweight Title in Montgomery, Alabama

1985 - Al Madril and Chavo Guerrero defeated American Force (Paul Diamond and Nick Kiniski) for the Texas All-Star Wrestling Texas Tag Team Title in San Antonio, Texas.

1992 - At the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia; Brad Armstrong pinned Scotty Flamingo (Raven) to win the WCW Light Heavyweight Title. Also, Terry Gordy and Steve Williams defeated The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) to win the WCW World Tag Team Title

1992 - Canek defeated Dos Caras for the UWA World Heavyweight Title in Naucalpan, Mexico

1993 - Jerry Lawler defeated Owen Hart to win the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee. Also, CW Bergstrom & Melvin Penrod Jr. defeated USWA Tag Team Champions New Jack & Home Boy to win the titles.

1994 - Chris Candido defeated Scott Studd to win the vacant SMW Television Title in Warrensville, North Carolina.

1996 - Mexico National Middleweight Champion El Hijo del Santo defeated The Great Sasuke to win CMLL's annual Gran Prix Tournament in Mexico City, Mexico.

1998 - Magnum Tokyo defeated El Hijo del Gladiador in Naucalpan, Mexico, to win the IWRG Intercontinental Middleweight Title.

2000 - Val Venis defeated Rikishi at a SmackDown! taping in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to win the WWF Intercontinental Title

-- Here's a TNA/Las Vegas tie-in:

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING has become the first ever professional wrestling organisation to launch an online slot machine game. The game features ‘The Icon’ Sting, Olympic Gold Medallist Kurt Angle, TNA Knockouts Champion Mickie James, Bobby Roode and Velvet Sky. The partnership with MX Digital and Sky Vegas ( marks an innovative addition to TNA’s ever-expanding roster of partners and licensees. The highly anticipated game – titled TNA IMPACT – is available to those over the age of 18 only, in the UK and Ireland, from today on the Sky Vegas website. This announcement follows hot on the heels of the launch of TNA IMPACT WRESTLING’s biggest ever UK and Ireland Tour, coming to Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester, London and Birmingham for live events in January/February 2014.

-- Yahoo looks at the Top 10 Wrestling Brothers in history here.

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?