Ultimate Fighter tonight has the semifinals of the tournament with James Vick vs. Michael Chiesa and Al Iaquinta vs. Vinc Pichel.
Also tonight is the season finale of Bellator on MTV 2 and Epix from New Orleans:
Derek Campos (154.8) vs. Rich Clementi (157.2) - 157 pound catch weight
Hiroshi Nakamura (135.8) vs. Luis Nogueira (135.8) in the bantamweight tournament semifinal
Rich Hawn (156) vs. Brent Weedman (156) - Winner gets a shot at Michael Chandler's lightweight title
Cole Konrad (265.2) vs. Eric Prindle (265) for the heavyweight title
Also tonight at 10 p.m. on HDNet is the Titan Fighting Championships from Kansas City
Anthony Johnson vs. David Branch
L.C. Davis vs. Bill Kamery
Jose Vega vs. Andrew Whitney
Nick Mamalis vs. Fabio Mello
Rudy Bears vs. Nick Nolte
Mirsad Bektic vs. Willie Mack
The main show of the weekend is UFC 146 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas
Facebook fights at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time
Mike Brown vs. Daniel Pineda
Kyle Kingsbury vs. Glover Texeira
Paul Sass vs. Jacob Volkmann
Prelims on FX at 8 p.m.
Dan Hardy vs. Duane Ludwig
Jason Mayhem Miller vs. C.B. Dollaway
Edson Barboza Jr. vs. Jamie Varner
Diego Brando vs. Derrick Elkins
All heavyweight main card at 10 p.m.
Lavar Johnson vs. Stefan Struve
Stipe Miocic vs. Shane Del Rosario
Dave Herman vs. Roy Nelson
Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva
Junior Dos Santos vs. Frank Mir for the heavyweight title
Saturday, besides UFC, has Raw in Quito, Ecuador and Smackdown in Guadalajara.
Sunday has a Smackdown show in Lake Charles, LA.
Monday has Raw in New Orleans, while Tuesday has the Smackdown tapings in Baton Rouge.
The changes in Raw and Impact, what is behind them, and an analysis of both decisions is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The issue also includes a look at the Nevada State Athletic Commission hearing on Chael Sonnen and Nick Diaz, and what evidence presented led them to the conclusions they came up with.
We've also got coverage of Over the Limit, what's on the docket for No Way Out, the Strikeforce show, wrestlers leaving TNA including Ric Flair and more.
Our lead story is on the television changes, including what USA pays for Raw, the pluses and minuses of adding the extra hour at this time, the consensus reaction from the company, looking back at the Nitro era and when it went to three hours and what is and isn't applicable about that time period. We also look at why USA would want it, concerns that would already be there about adding time, hints at the direction of both shows going forward and more.
We also look at why Spike made the move it did at this time, and thoughts on what is the short-term experiment of Impact going live.
We also look at the Nevada hearing, what Ross Goodman, Nick Diaz's attorney, says they are going to do next, the arguments that he posed, and the key testimony at the hearing and why the decision wound up being what it was.
We also look at why Chael Sonnen got his TUE, and what has been consistent in three of the four approved cases of TUE's for testosterone in Nevada. We also look at what could and couldn't be determined about Sonnen's low testosterone, results of two testosterone tests in the last few weeks.
We look at why Big Show turned, and thoughts behind Over the Limit and where it leads the company. We've got our normal coverage of the show with match-by-match rundowns, star ratings, business, and polls on the show.
We also have a note on Dwayne Johnson's status in the entertainment world and his estimated earnings for this past year, Chris Jericho talking his return to WWE, as well as his schedule away from WWE and more on the C.M. Punk angle and a similar angle done decades ago that nobody knew about.
We've also got more on Rosa Mendes' injuries from an auto accident, changes in a character, a ruling that eliminates a tax WWE and UFC had previously had to pay, more on the contract situation of Rey Mysterio, and a note about every WWE PPV show this year.
We also look at a story from 1991 that made a recent book regarding an unfavorable view of Vince McMahon.
We've also got notes on why the Bella Twins decided to leave WWE and their thoughts having been gone, an idea for a movie made by Vince McMahon, a full rundown on the new NXT tapings, how they were done, and why they may not be seen as quickly as people think in the U.S. We also look at the wrestlers who are likely to be brought up to the main roster and who impressed people from the taping. We've also got more on the John Cena divorce, the C.M, Punk DVD, why there was surprising interest in Japan in WWE's last PPV, notes on WWE in Mexico and WWE & UFC former and current talent listed as the prettiest women in the world.
We've also got an update on Ted DiBiase, Canadian ratings for Raw, and business notes and coverage of the WWE's weekend house show.
The issue will be up on the site today if you are a web site member. We also have a new back issue on the site right now.
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.
We also look at an update on Linda McMahon's campaign for senate, what she's running on, what her opponents are saying and what role pro wrestling may have on the campaign.
We've got coverage of the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix finals and the Gilbert Melendez vs. Josh Thomson fight, along with a mixed bag when it came to ratings and tickets. We also examine the judging in Melendez vs. Thomson to explain why it is the system of judging that caused the outcome and why, exactly, another system likely would have had Thomson winning. We look at whether there should be a fourth match and more.
We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows as well as a look at how every segment on Raw and Impact did to see what stories and personalities are clicking and what are causing people to tune out.
We also have results from all the major arena events around the world over the past week, as well as reviews of all the major television shows.
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.
We also have our in-depth look at the ratings of the national shows, including how every segment of Raw and Impact did, what gained in audience, and what lost in audience.
We also have our weekly features with the results from the major events held around the world over the past week, as well as reviews of the major television shows.
FRIDAY LINKS, NEWS & UPDATES
-- Due to an early morning travel day for both me and Dave, this report is going up very early. If there is big news later in the day, we'll do additional posts on the front page. We will be in Vegas for UFC 146 and have radio shows planned both tonight and Saturday night after the show. You can also follow me all weekend on Twitter at @bryanalvarez. I'll be live tweeting during the show as well.
-- As noted on the front page, Chris Jericho was escorted out of Brazil after an incident where he stomped on and then kicked a Brazilian flag out of the ring at the show in Sao Paulo. Desecrating the flag is grounds for incarceration, so it was either hit the bricks or hit the clink. He was in Ecuador last we heard. He apologized immediately before being escorted out of the ring. WWE also apologized to the Brazilian government last night. WWE.com reported that he'd been suspended indefinitely by the company. He has been pulled from a number of future dates, though he is still listed for No Way Out. The latest we heard internally last night is that he's most likely off the PPV.
It should be noted that unlike in the Fit Finlay incident last year, this was something Jericho did on his own and not something he was advised to do by an agent. Finlay was fired after he arranged a segment on a house show where Miz, to get heat, interrupted the National Anthem, and there were members of the National Guard in attendance who were extremely unhappy.
James writes: Hey Dave and Bryan, as a prosecutor here in the US, I have actually lectured to visiting Brazilian prosecutors when they came to Central Florida for international law enforcement training. We talked about the laws involving national flags of both our countries, and it is against the national law to desecrate the flag in Brazil (unlike the US where such a law would be unconstitutional). It is a misdemeanor level offense in Brazil.
This probably won't be up long, but video of the incident is here. There is a video of his apology here. On Twitter late last night, he wrote: Just for the record I love Brazil and wish we could've spent more time here. Beautiful country! WWE.com quoted him as saying, "I made a bad judgment call in the course of entertaining our fans in Brazil. I apologized to the people in the crowd for showing disrespect. It was a bad move. I did it with the fans' entertainment in mind and I’ll accept the consequences for that."
-- FCW announced last night that their final TV taping will take place on June 7th. Someone alert HHH so he can do damage control on WWE.com.
-- The Nashville City Paper has a story on the TNA vs. WWE lawsuit written about yesterday on the front page here. It includes quotes from WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt, who is trying to paint it as a situation where the company did the right thing in alerting TNA that one of their former employees was trying to leak trade secrets once he came to work for WWE.
-- PWInsider is also reporting that Doug Somers is suing WWE & Vince and Linda McMahon over usage of AWA matches featuring his likeness and matches on various DVDs, books and WWE Classics on Demand without his consent. WWE has been using AWA footage since purchasing the tape library from Verne Gagne's family a decade ago. WWE, obviously, is arguing that he has no case and cites a similar case involving Ricky Steamboat from years ago where the court sided with WWE.
-- Roy Nelson spent much of the week talking about how he'd love to follow in King Mo's footsteps and go into professional wrestling.
-- It's now out that the Revolution viral videos on WWE.com are a teaser for the upcoming WWE '13 video game.
-- The next live Smackdown takes place Tuesday, July 3rd.
-- UFC announced yesterday that with the exception of Andy Ogle and Mike Rio (injury suspensions by the Nevada State Athletic Commission), everyone who competed on this season of Ultimate Fighter will get a fight on the finale next week. The three-hour season finale takes place next Friday night on FX from the Pearl at the Palms in Vegas. The lineup has the winner of James Vick vs. Michael Chiesa taking on the winner of Vince Pichel vs. Al Iaquinta for the TUF title, Jeremy Larsen vs. Joe Proctor, Sam Sicilia vs. Christiano Marcello, Chris Tickle vs. Daron Cruickshank, Myles Jury vs. Chris Saunders, and Justin Lawrence vs. John Cofer.
-- At the moment, odds for Urijah Faber vs. Renan Barao at the 7/7 UFC are dead even.
-- MVP talks an idea he had about a HIP HOP SUPERGROUP with John Cena and Truth and why Vince nixed it.
How many buys do you expect UFC 146 to get?
Less than 300,000 16.3%
More than 801,000 3.6%
If there was a UFC heavyweight tournament, who do you think would emerge
Junior Dos Santos 47.8%
Cain Velasquez 20.5%
Alistair Overeem 16.4%
Daniel Cormier 5.7%
Frank Mir 4.2%
Fabricio Werdum 2.3%
Bigfoot Silva 1.8%
Josh Barnett 1.3%
Who was the greatest technical wrestler of this group?
Jack Brisco 24.6%
Danny Hodge 17.2%
Billy Robinson 14.8%
Karl Gotch 11.7%
Verne Gagne 11.7%
Dory Funk Jr. 10.9%
The Destroyer 2.8%
Mil Mascaras 2.8%
Pat O'Connor 2.0%
George Gordienko 0.7%
Wilbur Snyder 0.4%
Dos Caras 0.4%
Who was the greatest brawling style wrestler of this group?
Terry Funk 51.7%
The Sheik 8.8%
Abdullah the Butcher 7.7%
Dick the Bruiser 7.1%
Bruno Sammartino 6.9%
Johnny Valentine 4.9%
Ray Stevens 4.0%
Mad Dog Vachon 3.1%
Dick Murdoch 3.1%
Fritz Von Erich 1.1%
Gene Kiniski 1.1%
Ivan Koloff 0.4%
If one wrestler should be picked for the Madison Square Garden Hall of
Fame, who should it be?
Bruno Sammartino 71.4%
Hulk Hogan 15.0%
Steve Austin 3.7%
Bret Hart 2.6%
The Rock 2.5%
John Cena 1.3%
Bob Backlund 1.1%
Superstar Graham 0.7%
Chief Jay Strongbow 0.7%
Jim Londos 0.5%
Argentina Rocca 0.4%
Pedro Morales 0.2%