FRI UPDATE: Is Cena winning Sunday?, Network on Amazon Fire TV, TNA injury, new PPV matches, more



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

Not a lot of house show events this weekend, but there are plenty of significant shows.

We're looking for reports on:

*TNA tonight from the Manhattan Center (Seiya Sanada vs. Samoa Joe vs. Low Ki for X title, plus Hardys as a tag team) *NXT tonight from Leesburg, FL (Adrian Neville vs. Sami Zayn)

Reports for all weekend shows can be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Late tonight on Fight Pass 2:30 a.m. Eastern time; 11:30 p.m. Pacific time) is UFC's debut in Auckland, New Zealand:

Sean O'Connell (205) vs. Gian Villante (205.5)
Ian Entwistle (145.5) vs. Daniel Hooker (145)
Rodrigo Golana de Lima (169) vs. Neil Magny (171)
Vic Grujic (171) vs. Chris Indich (170)
Roldan Sangcha-an (125) vs, Richie Vaculik (125.5)
Dashon Johnson (155) vs. Jake Matthews (156)
Robert Whittaker (171) vs. Mike Rhodes (171)
Hatsu Hioki (146) vs. Charles Oliveira (145)
Soa Palelei (264) vs. Jared Rosholt (259)
Nate Marquardt (186) vs. James Te Huna (186)

Saturday has UFC Fight Night from San Antonio's AT&T Center

Fight Pass at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, 4:30 p.m. Pacific

Anthony Hamilton vs. Oleksiy Oliynyk

FS 1 at 8 p.m.

Roy Borg vs. Shane Howell
Andy Enz vs. Marcelo Guimares
Johnny Bedford vs. Cody Gibson
Colton Smith vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
Joe Ellenberger vs. James Moontasri
Clint Hester vs. Antonio Braga Neto
Ricardo Lamas vs. Hacran Dias
Andrew Craig vs. Cezar Mutante Ferriera
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Nicholas Musoke
Cub Swanson vs. Jeremy Stephens

The Swanson-Stephens winner will be in line for a featherweight title shot at the Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes winner on 8/2. But the B.J. Penn vs. Frankie Edgar winner next Sunday will also be in line for a title shot.

WWE's only house show of the weekend is Saturday night in Bangor, ME with John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt, Usos vs Luke Harper & Erick Rowan and Big E vs. Rusev.

New Japan has the first of its Kizuna Road iPPV shows at www.ustream.tv/channel/njpw1972 on Sunday morning/late Saturday night at 5:30 a.m. Eastern time/2:30 a.m. Pacific time from Korakuen Hall in Tokyo

Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask & Mascara Dorada vs. Bushi & Fuego & Yohei Komatsu
Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Yuji Nagata &
Manabu Nakanishi & Captain New Japan
Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka
Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs. Katsuyori Shibata & Hirooki Goto
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Alex Shelley & Kushida vs. Tetsuya Naito & Kota
Ibushi & Desperado
Shinsuke Nakamura & Kazuchika Okada & Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov vs. Bad
Luck Fale & Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows & Tama Tonga
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yujiro Takahashi for the Never title

Sunday's big show is the Money in the Bank PPV from a sold out TD Garden in Boston:

Ladder match for vacant WWE title: John Cena, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Kane, Cesaro, Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio
Money in the bank ladder match: Seth Rollins, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, Rob Van Dam, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler & ? (Bad News Barrett is listed but he suffered a shoulder separation on Tuesday, no word if there will be a replacement or not)
Usos vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan for tag titles
Paige vs. Naomi for Divas title
Goldust & Stardust vs. Curtis Axel & Ryback
Big E vs. Rusev
Layla vs. Summer Rae with Fandango as referee

TNA has a house show on Sunday in Lakewood, NJ at First Energy Park with Bobby Lashley vs. Eric Young for the TNA title, Bully Ray vs. Ethan Carter III, Angelina Love & Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim & Madison Rayne, Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. DJ Zema Ion & Jessie Godderz for tag titles, Seiya Sanada vs. Manik vs. Tigre Uno plus an appearance by Kurt Angle.

Raw will be Monday night in Hartford, CT.

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped Tuesday night in Newark, NJ at the Prudential Center

The new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, with the latest on Money in the Bank, WWE injury updates, ROH Best in the World, New Japan Dominion, an article on TNA going to New York, and the G-1 Climax tournament is up on the web site.
 
 
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The lead story previews King of the Ring, as well as talks SummerSlam possibilities, why certain people are more or less likely to headline, what's next for Brock Lesnar, long-term for Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt, the Bad News Barrett injury and card.
 
We also look at the first live ROH PPV show.  We note the production issues, what happened at the end, what former WWE star was originally booked on this show and what role he was to have, as well as why it didn't happen.  We look at why book a title change, if there will be another show, and notes on the wrestlers ROH introduced.
 
We also have our usual coverage of the show with poll results, match-by-match coverage and star ratings.
 
We also look at TNA venturing to New York, the reality of pro wrestling on television right now, TNA morale, the Pennsylvania tapings, a look at future television shows and plans, why Raw abandoned the Manhattan Center, the six-sided ring vs. four-sided ring, a look at the Eric Young title reign and Bobby Lashley as champion, and what is missing.
 
We also look at the Extreme Rules PPV numbers and what it says about network viewership as well as the future.  We've also got more on Mania ticket sales and how the WrestleMania DVD has been doing.
 
We also look at the farewell of Vickie Guerrero, her career in WWE, her awards and her final angle.
 
We also look at a big angle she was in that was dropped cold
 
We've got an update on Batista, WrestleMania payoff notes, funny Pat Patterson coverage, WWE awards, return of Bret Hart to Raw, WWE stars in sports Hall of Fame, Batista talks the reaction on his return, Brodus Clay talks his departure and WWE video game notes.
 
We also look at developmental, lots of injuries, Australia tour and upcoming lineups, Rose Buds, Eva Marie and her wedding, plus business notes from the past week and highlights of all the WWE shows over the past week.   
 
We've got a feature on the 2014 G-1 Climax tournament with the bracketing and lineups, as well as lessons from last year, why the A block is a killer, iPPV notes on the biggest shows and a look at New Japan's second biggest show of the year on 8/10.
 
We also look at the New Japan Dominion PPV, including the killer early matches, business notes, a full match-by-match rundown with star ratings as well as the lineup for the next two iPPV shows before G-1.
 
We've got a look at Scott Coker returning as a promoter to head Bellator.  We look at changes expected to happen, why the changes were made, the origins of the tournament format, the schedule, how long talks had taken place for the change, and why what worked for Coker in the past will be almost impossible to duplicate today.
 
We also look at changes that can be made and future PPVs.
 
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 the world's most detailed weekly pro wrestling publication, in its 32nd year of publication, and is read by the biggest names in the pro wrestling, industry, MMA industry, sports world and on Wall Street.
 
We also have our regular features such as the most complete look at ratings, including who are the big movers in WWE & TNA, plus results of the major house show events each week in pro wrestling and MMA, and complete inside rundowns of all the TV shows.
 
Also in this week's issue:
 
--Busca en un Idolo finals
 
--Updates from Arena Mexico
 
--The La Sombra vs. Volador Jr. double title match
 
--Arena Mexico main events on U.S. television
 
--Cage of death leads to an unmasking
 
--Notes from the most recent AAA taping as well as upcoming matches
 
--Dragon Gate gears for one of its biggest shows with multiple title matches
 
--Latest angles
 
--A major show planned for August
 
--Wrestle-1's top matches for next week at Sumo Hall
 
--Who will be in TNA title match
 
--TNA star faces Great Muta in main match
 
--European champions headed to Wrestle-1
 
--Where the idea of using European champions came from
 
--Several upcoming title matches
 
--New Japan and Big Japan stars coming to major NOAH show this coming week
 
--Will the GHC title change hands
 
--New Japan stars at NOAH show
 
--Hiroshi Tanahashi 15th year anniversary match
 
--New Japan stars headed to Europe
 
--New Japan injury note
 
--Former ECW champion needs emergency surgery
 
--25th anniversary show for Kintaro Kanemura
 
--Lineup for 2014 Fire Festival from Zero-One
 
--Notes on the career of Don Greene, a Tennessee star from the heyday of Memphis wrestling
 
--Notes on the original Heavenly Bodies tag team
 
--Jerry Jarrett talks Don Greene
 
--Unique reason career heel went face
 
--Notes on the death of Larry Nelson
 
--How Nelson got into wrestling
 
--How Nelson got a noteworthy figure into broadcasting
 
--What Nelson has been doing after wrestling
 
--Notes on Global Force Wrestling
 
--What they need for survival
 
--Battle of Los Angeles 2014 notes
 
--Key contract issues in ROH
 
--Frankie Kazarian ROH notes
 
--Matt Hardy indie scene notes
 
--Bully Ray talks his own love life
 
--Tommy Dreamer angle in TNA
 
--Hernandez talks his release
 
--TNA stars ready to return
 
--Notes on all the TNA TV through mid-July
 
--A look at 3 different TNA title changes
 
--More on UFC stars Espy nominations
 
--Who has the best chance of winning
 
--Update on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
 
--Notes on a UFC double-shot this week
 
--What's at stake in the biggest fights
 
--Looking at UFC 175
 
--Update on Daniel Cormier and Junior Dos Santos returning from injuries
 
--Why Cormier is not getting surgery until after July 5th
 
--UFC releases a major name for the last decade and why he never reached the stardom expected
 
--Chael Sonnen talks retirement
 
--Why Sonnen competes at Metamoris
 
--Dan Henderson's next move
 
--John McCarthy talks problems with judging
 
--Former UFC legend mends fences and will return at UFC sponsored event next week
 
--UFC injury updates
 
--UFC signings and lots of new fights
 
Today's News, Notes and Links

-- So WWE sent out a news blast to fans today that included the SummerSlam poster with John Cena and Brock Lesnar on it, seemingly giving away not only SummerSlam's main event, but obviously Sunday's Money in the Bank PPV finish. What I can tell you is that the original plan over a week ago was for Cena to win. Was told today that now that the poster is out, particularly with them pushing it hard in this news blast, there is a good chance they'll switch the finish on Sunday. From what I can gather, one way or another Brock vs. Cena for the belt is likely still headlining SummerSlam, so make of that what you will. Thanks to Paul and others who sent that along.

-- For Sunday's PPV they've added Layla vs. Summer with Fandango as special guest referee, plus the feud that will never end, Cody (as Stardust) and Goldust vs. Rybaxel.

--Ethan Carter III was hospitalized and needed stitches after a shot in a hardcore match at the TNA tapings last night. Heard the tapings were very good, like the best in months, and that last night was sold out with people turned away and tonight is already sold out as well.

-- The trailer for Metamoris IV is up here. Chael Sonnen back in action. Yup. Grappling match, however, not MMA.

-- The best video series ever, Don Frye's fight picks, up here.

-- The WWE Network now available on Amazon Fire TV: WWE today announced that WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 streaming network, is now available on Amazon Fire TV. Available for only $9.99 a month – with a six month commitment – fans can subscribe to WWE Network at WWE.com, download the WWE Network app from the Amazon Appstore, sign in to their WWE Network account and instantly have access to live and scheduled WWE programming, all 12 live WWE pay-per-view events and the most comprehensive video-on-demand library comprised of more than 2,000 hours of content including all WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-views. In addition to Amazon Fire TV, WWE Network is available on connected devices including Apple TV, Roku streaming devices, Sony PlayStation® 3, Sony PlayStation® 4, Xbox One and Xbox 360. WWE Network is also available through the WWE App on iOS devices, including Apple iPad and iPhone, Amazon’s Kindle Fire devices and Android devices, as well as on desktops and laptops via WWE.com.

-- The Fight Network is now available in the US in some markets: Cablevision Systems Corp. today announced that it has expanded its Optimum TV lineup with the addition of Fight Network, the world’s premier combat sports channel, and FNTSY Sports Network, the first-ever channel dedicated to fantasy sports. Cablevision is the first major U.S. cable TV provider to offer either channel.

-- Enter the Sandman documentary now available on Vimeo.

-- Seiya Sanada will defend the X Division title against Great Muta on 7/6 at Sumo Hall in Tokyo coming off the angle where Sanada turned on him at Wednesday night's taping. So that angle makes sense for what they were planning in Japan. So presumably they gave away that Sanada is winning the title in the three-way tonight.  Also added to that 7/6 show at Sumo Hall is Ethan Carter III & Rockstar Spud vs. Tajiri & Yusuke Kodama.

-- RD Reynolds is so excited! 14 YEARS in the making, finally here - Fred Ottman Friday! Huge interview & more with The Shockmaster-Tugboat-Typhoon! It's up right now at WrestleCrap.com!

-- If you never saw it, Lex Luger's book is available here: Wrestling with the Devil: The True Story of a World Champion Professional Wrestler - His Reign, Ruin, and Redemptionalt

-- Also in book news, and we'll have a full preview on the front page in a bit, tonight's After Dark Radio will feature an interview with David Paulides about his Missing 411 series of booksalt. I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS SHOW.

-- Denis sends in this business-exposing hands-free chokeslam. Imagine this happening, with these guys, in like 1980.

-- Ring of Honor is heading back to West Virginia. On Saturday, September 27th they will be LIVE in Wheeling, West Virginia when they debut at the WesBanco Arena, 2 14th St Wheeling, WV 26003

-- Former WWE stars at upcoming EVOLVE events: Matt Sydal is going to EVOLVE! This is such a natural combination that it doesn't need any hype. We aren't wasting time as we putting the former Evan Bourne in WWE to the test. Here's his matches: EVOLVE 31 - August 8th - Ybor City, FL Matt Sydal vs. Johnny Gargano; EVOLVE 32 - August 9th - Orlando, FL - Non-Title Matt Sydal vs. Open The Freedom Gate Champion Ricochet. June 25th: We aren't done yet! We are very excited to announce Drew Galloway, formerly known as Drew McIntyre, is coming to EVOLVE 31 in Ybor City. It will be Drew Galloway vs. Trent Baretta. June 25th: Tickets go on sale at www.DGUSA.tv for EVOLVE on August 8th in Ybor City, August 9thin Orlando and August 10th in Jacksonville at noon EST. today. These announcements are just the start of things to come for this epic weekend. Get the best seats now or risk getting shut out.

-- Ronda Rousey and Lyoto Machida in studio tonight for Inside MMA on AXS TV.

-- Story hereon Mick Foley's one-man show.

-- Rich Franklin talks the possibility of ONE MORE MATCH. Or is that Christian's gimmick.

-- Interview with Short Sleeve Samson here.

-- By the way, if anyone has emailed recently asking to do an interview with me, give me a couple of weeks, things are crazy around here with Vinny's wedding, Vegas Convention next week and more.

-- Deadspin has an article on UFC oversaturation here.

-- Steve Austin interview talking tons of different topics here.

-- New interview with Dean Ambrose here.

-- James notes: At the end of the NXT house show last night in Starke, following the main event, Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn held a farewell celebration for NXT referee Dan Engler, who is moving to the main roster.

-- WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING THIS WEEKEND?
WWE Money in the Bank 79.9%
UFC from San Antonio 24.2%
New Japan 12.5%

IF BOUND FOR GLORY IS ON TAPE, DOES THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR WATCHING IT?
No, wasn't before won't now 63.5%
Will watch it 14.3%
Depends on the card 9.9%
Will wait until reports on the show and then decide 7.6%
Will make a difference 4.7%

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TNA'S NEW DIRECTION?
Better 25.7%
Worse 11.4%
No difference 62.9%

WHO SHOULD WIN THE LADDER MATCH?
John Cena 28.6%
Cesaro 24.9%
Bray Wyatt 21.7%
Roman Reigns 14.5%
Kane 3.6%
Alberto Del Rio 2.6%
Randy Orton 2.4%
Sheamus 1.8%

-- New England Championship Wrestling is proud to be a part of the 140th Annual Brockton Fair! NECW will be presenting two big shows on two different nights: The first takes placetomorrow night, Saturday night, June 28th, with the other on Friday night, July 4th. Both night's events begin at 7 PM and both events are free with your admission to the Fair!

-- Today in History with Brian Hoops:

1935 - Danno O'Mahony defeated Jim Londos for the NWA (National Wrestling Association) Heavyweight Wrestling Title in Boston, Massachusetts.

1972 - Professor Tanaka & Mr. Fuji defeated Chief Jay Strongbow & Sonny King for the WWWF Tag Team Title in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1998 - Rob Van Dam & Sabu defeated Chris Candido & Lance Storm for the ECW World Tag Team Title in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the ECW Arena.

1999 - Billy Gunn defeated X-Pac to win the King of the Ring tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina.

2000 - Steve Blackman defeated Crash Holly for the WWF Hardcore Title in Hartford, Connecticut

-- This July 4th weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada marks the 8th F4W/WrestlingObserver Vegas Convention~!

Tentative list of events:
Thursday: 6:00 PM: Group dinner at Fogo De Chao Brazilian Steakhouse (cost usually around $50-60 per person)
9 PM: Beatles Love Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage. We are meeting at The Bourbon Room at the Venetian after Love~!

Friday:
4 PM (or so) : UFC Weigh-ins
6:30-8:30PM: Convention banquet/dinner at Buca Di Beppo's at Excalibur. Cost TBD. Must pay for tickets in advance and seating is usually limited to around 50-60
9 PM: Banquet after party at Ed's suite at the Riviera.

Saturday:
10 AM (or so): UFC Fan Expo (weigh-ins for next day's card later in PM here)
11 AM: Pool party at a location TBD, weather permitting
1 PM: Pre-UFC meal at Chen Chen at NYNY
3:30 PM (or so) : UFC Event. Some groups are going to see the event at a bar. Usually at least one group goes and sees some sort of other show
10 PM: Afterparty at Dick's Last Resort at Excalibur

Sunday:
10 AM (or so) UFC Fan Expo
12:00PM Lunch at PINK TACO at the Hard Rock
2 PM: Kiss mini-golf just off the strip, close to Hard Rock
5 PM (or so) : UFC Event (TUF Finale)
9 PM: Karaoke at Brass Lounge on Freemont Street

Monday:
11 AM: People that are still around will usually get together for brunch~!

-- The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) in partnership with Las Vegas’ own Tuff-N-Uff: “The Future Stars of Mixed Martial Arts,” is presenting the first-ever amateur Mixed Martial Arts World Championships during UFC International Fight Week™ on Monday, June 30 to Saturday, July 5. The IMMAF selected Tuff-N-Uff to co-present this competition because of their excellent reputation and prominence in combat sports. The five-day IMMAF World Championships kicks off at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) inside the Cox Pavilion on Monday, June 30.

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Who do you think won this fight?