July 4th Update: UFC weekend festivites, meet all of us, WWE tour changes, CM Punk update, more

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

Tons of stuff going on the next few days and we're doing the weekend schedule here since the next few days are the web site convention.

WWE is doing a full touring schedule even though it's a holiday weekend.

Friday night opens in Windsor, ONT with Roman Reigns, The Wyatt Family, Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, Rusev, Cesaro and Kofi Kingston.

Smackdown TV from Newark

Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio for the U.S. title

Diego vs. Bo Dallas

A.J. Lee vs Eva Marie

Dean Ambrose vs. Randy Orton

TNA will be on PPV Friday night with a taped show from Sumo Hall in Tokyo from March.

World Series of Fighting on Saturday afternoon from Daytona Beach on NBC (not NBC Sports, real NBC) at 4 p.m. Eastern time

Pablo Alfonso vs. Cody Bollinger

J.Z. Cavalcante vs. Melvin Guillard

Jon Fitch vs. Dennis Hallman

Justin Gaethje vs. Nick Newell for lightweight title

UFC 175 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas

Fight Pass at 7 p.m.

Kevin Casey vs. Bubba Bush

Guilherme Vasconcelos vs. Luke Zachrich

FS 1 at 8 p.m.

Rob Font vs. George Roop

Chris Camozzi vs. Bruno Santos

Ildemar Alcantara vs. Kenny Robertson

Urijah Faber vs. Alex Caceres

PPV at 10 p.m.

Marcus Brimage vs. Russell Doane

Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos

Matt Mitrione vs. Stefan Struve

Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis for women's bantamweight title

Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida for middleweight title

WWE has shows Saturday in London, ONT (Reigns, Wyatt Family, Ziggler, R-Truth, Rusev, Cesaro and Kingston) and Broomfield, CO (Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Alberto Del Rio, Big E, Sheamus, Sin Cara).

Pro Wrestling NOAH has one of its major shows of the year on 7/5 from the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo with Yuji Nagata vs. Naomichi Marufuji for the GHC title.

UFC has another show on Sunday from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas

Fight Pass at 6 p.m.

Keith Berish vs. Robert Drysdale

Alexis Dufrense vs. Sarah Moras

FS 1 at 7 p.m.

Dan Spohn vs. Patrick Walsh

Adriano Martins vs. Juan Manuel Puig

Leandro Issa vs. Jumabieke Tuerxun

Kevin Lee vs. Jesse Ronson

Dustin Ortiz vs. Justin Scoggins

Guto Inocente vs. Derrick Lewis

Eddie Gordon vs. Dhiego Lima in the TUF middleweight finals

Corey Anderson vs. Matt Van Buren in the TUF light heavyweight finals

Frankie Edgar vs. B.J. Penn

WWE has shows Sunday in Toronto (John Cena, Randy Orton, Reigns, Wyatt Family, Ziggler, R-Truth, Rusev, Cesaro and Kingston) and Kingston, ONT (Rollins, Ambrose, Del Rio, E, Sheamus, Sin Cara),

Also Sunday is Wrestle-1's Sumo Hall show which includes a TNA tag title match with Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. Minoru Tanaka & Koji Kanemoto.

Raw is Monday in Montreal. Bret Hart returns to Raw. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz has been announced for the show.

Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday in Ottawa.

A rundown of the current WWE direction, including the SummerSlam card, key storylines, why John Cena got the title, the story behind the return of Chris Jericho, where Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt fit into the big picture, the Battleground card as well as Money in the Bank coverage are all in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that should be up on the site shortly.

The new double issue also has a major story on PED use in MMA, pro wrestling, limitations of drug testing, what is and isn't tested for when and where, along with the complete story of the situation with Chael Sonnen and his prospective future.

The issue is up on the site right now at http://www.f4wonline.com/component/content/article/110-wrestling-observer-newsletter/37784-jul-6-wrestling-observer-newsletter-money-in-the-bank-bryan-update-chael-fired-all-the-news-and-more

Web site subscriptions, which include access to both current and older newsletters as well as every audio show on the history of the site are at http://www.f4wonline.com/member/signup.php

You can also order the print Observer right now and get it delivered to your door via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Today's News, Notes and Links

-- Happy Fourth of July to everyone here in the US. And, of course, everyone else have a great day as well.

-- John Cena is off the company's upcoming tour of Australia and is being replaced in all of his matches by Roman Reigns. Also heading down will be the newly-returning Chris Jericho and Ric Flair.

-- Full line-up for the next season of Utlimate Fighter, the finals of which will crown the first-ever UFC 115-pound women's champion, will be:

Joanne Calderwood (8-0), 27, Glasgow, Scotland
Alex Chambers (4-1), 35, Sydney, Australia
Heather Jo Clark (6-4), 34, Los Angeles, Calif.
Aisling Daly (14-3), 26, Dublin, Ireland
Lisa Ellis (15-8), 31, Olympia, Wash.
Carla Esparza (9-2), 26, Redondo Beach, Calif.
Felice Herrig (9-5), 29, Crystal Lake, Ill.
Angela Hill (1-0), 29, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Emily Peters Kagan (3-1), 32, Bangor, Maine
Justine Kish (4-0), 26, Cramerton, N.C.
Angela Magana (11-6), 30, Farmington, N.M.
Randa Markos (4-1), 28, Windsor, Canada
Rose Namajunas (2-1), 22, Milwaukee, Wis.
Jessica Penne (11-2), 31, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Bec Rawlings (5-3), 25, Launceston, Tasmania
Tecia Torres (4-0), 24, Fall River, Mass.

-- Didn't get a chance to go today, but there was a press luncheon for a new book, Is This Legal?: The Inside Story of The First UFC from the Man Who Created It, that you really should check out if you are a fan of MMA history.

-- Dave and I and Granny and myriad others are here in Vegas for the 2014 F4W/WrestlingObserver.com annual convention. What that means for the radio show schedule is anyone's guess. For sure, Dave and I will be back tomorrow night after UFC 175 with a full report and analysis and look at all the news. I will probably do a few random shows with various people over the next couple of days as well. Stay tuned.

-- The schedule of events if you are in the area is up on Facebook here. Somehow, the line-up Dave posted yesterday was from three years ago, so make sure you go up there and look at that one if you are in town. Tons of stuff going on that you can be involved with plus a lot of photos, including a Wendy's meet-and-greet with Granny at noon today (3784 S Las Vegas Blvd). I'm not making that up.

-- BJ Penn has hinted that even if he wins Sunday, he might retire since it's best to go out on top with a win.

-- The only thing better than a Don Frye prediction video is the outtakes of a Don Frye prediction video.

-- Even though CM Punk was persona non grata in WWE's video packages for Money in the Bank, next week they're doing a WrestleMania flashback centered around him winning and cashing in two times in a row.

-- Ralek Gracie's official statement on Chael Sonnen and Metamoris is here.

-- Bigfoot Silva returns from a drug suspension on Sept 13th in Brasilia, Brazil versus Andrei Arlovski, so no, at this point, no Josh Barnett fight.

-- FIREWORKS FLY WHEN CMT’S NEWEST COMPETITION SERIES, “STEVE AUSTIN’S BROKEN SKULL CHALLENGE,” PREMIERES THIS SUNDAY, JULY 6. This Fourth of July weekend, Americans will be celebrating all things red, white and blue with beer, burgers and some friendly competition by way of horseshoes and cornhole. So nothing says “America” like when wrestling icon Steve Austin kicks the competition up a notch with his new, badass competition series, STEVE AUSTIN’S BROKEN SKULL CHALLENGE, premiering Sunday, July 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CMT. The 10-episode series pits elite athletes against everyday men and women in the ultimate test of strength, stamina and wit. Each episode features eight contestants in head-to-head battles until the last man or woman standing earns the right to take on the toughest obstacle course in America created by Austin himself, the “Skullbuster,” for a chance to win cash.

-- Renee Young is replacing Bryan Saxton on the WWE Superstars commentary crew.

-- Just got an email from UFC and apparently one of their catchphrases for this weekend is, and I quote: "S**t's Going Down This Saturday"

-- Four NFL players fail drug tests here

-- Update on Mickey Grant from Fighting Spirit Magazine here.

-- One of our subscribers, Stevie, is on the JBL and Cole Show here at the 1:10 mark.

-- TNA did a storyline where new Director of Wrestling Operations Kurt Angle announced that the TNA TV Title was henceforth inactive. Apparently it was very important to close this storyline that realistically ended when Abyss won the title like a year ago and the belt was never seen again.

-- Champions of the Galaxy, a tabletop wrestling card game with a science fiction theme, will turn from fiction to reality on July 11 in Jamestown, New York. Champions of the Galaxy has been on market since the 1980s. The game, which boasts fans like WWE star Daniel Bryan and wrestling legend King Kong Bundy, will finally come to life on July 11 in Jamestown, New York, in one of the most unique wrestling events ever scheduled.

-- The Liberty Bell Classic / East Coast King of Catch Wrestling Tournament! August 30th, 2014 Lawrenceville, NJ

-- NWA SUMMER CLASH July 4, 2014 - Benton, AR - Saline County Fairgrounds. Not only wrestling but also FIREWORKS!~!

-- Vince Russo has 10 insights into working with Vince McMahon here.

-- ROHwrestling.com has a $4th Of July DVD Sale! All 2010 - 2012 ROH Event DVDs Just $4.00 each! 25% Off ROH Compilation DVDs & 10% Off ROH Shirts

-- Joey Mercury interview recap here.

-- NECW Live at The Brockton Fair Now on Saturday Night, July 5 at 7 PM!

-- LION FIGHT 16 Co-main event fighter Tiffany "Timebomb" Van Soest is in Las Vegas and ready to do battle with Italian Muay Thai Champion Sindy Huyer tomorrow night live inside the Pearl at Palms Casino Resort - Friday, July 4. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and first bout starts at 4:00 p.m. PT.

-- Paige talks her family history in wrestling 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?