WED UPDATE: UFC On Fuel lineup, TNA Off DirecTV, Sonnen appeal update, new Jericho book, tons more

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

UFC on Fuel is tonight and the full lineup is below. Staff picks are also up and Dave is live on the scene in San Jose, CA.

Dave and I will be back late tonight with Wrestling Observer Radio covering the UFC on FUEL show and all the news in wrestling and MMA. We'll also have shows in the next few days with Karl Stern, Lance Storm and Todd Martin.

We've got an update on WrestleMania numbers and what they mean, the legacy of Fedor Emelianenko, how Silva vs. Sonnen mirrors pro wrestling interviews from 40 years ago, an update on Ring of Honor and UFC after weekend shows, details on WWE's new TV, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, and tons more on John Cena among the highlights of the latest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

The issue will be on the site today if you are a web site member. We also have a new back issue on the site from 1995 which covers the legacy of Atsushi Onita, a shoot tournament featuring a number of pro wrestlers and Rickson Gracie, and how the international economy changed wrestling at that time.

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.

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The legacy of Fedor Emelianenko is looked at with his announced retirement, career highlights, where he stands among the all-time greats, his skill set, biggest wins, when the chinks in his armor were first apparent and the legacy of dead promotions in his wake.

We look at the buildup of Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva with the latest interviews.

We also look at the good and the bad coming out of the ROH iPPV, including how much the misfires hurt the company, the problems ROH has in drawing and why, the audience reactions, the plight of Adam Cole and Michael Elgin being elevated, Kevin Steen's attempts to turn the crowd, as well as match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results on the show.

We also look at UFC's weekend, including judging Guida vs. Maynard, what happened after the fight, who blew a title shot, ratings and business notes from both shows, the story behind Franklin vs. Silva and the new stars in the Brazilian market. We've also got complete coverage of both shows.

We also look at the new WWE Main Event show on Ion, including where Ion stands as far as a network, WWE's return to Japan, the returns of Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio, the trend of the television business that most affects UFC and pro wrestling and where it stands, a WWE cross promotional effort, WWE video game pre sales, what major name who has been out of wrestling for eight years is at least thinking about returning for a big match, as well as Kenn Doane talks about why his WWE career faltered and a view of Doane from the outside.

We also look at new WWE hires, John Layfield's mountain climbing, update on the WWE Network, notes on how the business from May compared with last year in a number of categories, as well as sales of this year's Mania DVD compared to last year. We also look at a movie that will star one of the biggest stars in both pro wrestling and one of the biggest stars in MMA that will be filmed starting in a few weeks.

We've also got business notes from the weekend WWE shows and highlights from all the company's house shows of the week.

We also have a look at the famed Luchador Adorable Rubi, a landmark figure in the history of pro wrestling, where he came from, what American stars inspired him and his promoter, as well as his career highlights from his 70s heyday.

We also have notes on how Over the Limit did on PPV and the stipulation of John Laurinaitis' employment being at stake and if it sold PPV orders.

We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and complete details on how every segment of Raw and Impact this past week did. We also look at how the time slot move and going live has affected TNA numbers.

We also have reviews of all the major television shows.

Today's News, Notes and Links

For UFC on Fuel, the Facebook fights start at 5:45 p.m. (yes, the show starts at 2:45 p.m. local time on a Wednesday afternoon):

- Raphael Assuncao (16-4, 136) vs. Issei Tamura (7-2, 135)
- Marcelo Guimars (7-0-1, 171) vs. Dan Stittgen (7-2, 170)
- Rafael Natal (14-3-1, 186) vs.Andrew Craig (7-0, 185)
- Chris Cariaso (13-3, 125) vs. Josh Ferguson (7-4, 125)
- Damacio Page (12-7, 136) vs. Alex Caceres (6-5, 136)

Live on Fuel at 8 p.m. Eastern time

- Rafael Dos Anjos (16-6, 156) vs. Anthony Njokuani (16-6, 156)
- T.J. Dillashaw (6-1, 136) vs. Vaughan Lee (12-7-1, 135)
- Karlos Vemola (10-2, 186) vs. Francis Carmont (18-6, 186)
- Aaron Simpson (10-3,171) vs. Kenny Robertson (11-1, 170)
- James Te Huna (16-5, 205) vs. Joey Beltran (14-7, 205)
- Mark Munoz (12-2, 186) vs. Chris Weidman (8-0, 186)

-- Want to send a big thank you to everyone who emailed to help with our audio issues the last few days. Everything is now working. I'll have more on what this means later this week. There were a number of solutions that were pretty expensive that didn't work (thankfully I could return everything), and in the end, the actual solution involved one cable and an adaptor that cost $16 total so that was a pleasant surprise.

-- Spike TV did, in fact, go dark on DirecTV last night at midnight due to a carriage dispute. Realistically, both sides will almost certainly come to terms, probably in the next few days. But as of this moment, no Impact on DirecTV this Thursday night.

-- Chael Sonnen said yesterday that he would not be filing an appeal regarding the knee he took at the end of his fight with Anderson Silva on Saturday night.

-- You are going to be hearing a lot about TOUT! on Raw in the coming weeks. Techcrunch is reporting that WWE has bought into the company. This almost certainly means that we're going to see fan-produced videos airing on Raw every week. I can count on no fingers the number of times wrestling companies have put fan-produced videos on the air and at least a few of them haven't been utter disasters that cast fans and the wrestling business in the worst possible light.

-- Drug tests for UFC 147 in Brazil are back and everyone tested clean.

-- Chris Jericho said on Twitter that his third book would be out in late 2013.

-- How's this for a crazy story? From Kris Zellner: In the crazy news department, Sugi San stated at Narita Airport early this morning in Tokyo that he was the one that planted the marijuana in the painting that NOSAWA & Io Shirai was caught with by customs agents after they returned home from Mexico last May. Both were arrested on drug charges which is serious business in Japan but a couple of weeks ago it was announced that charges weren't going to be pressed against them and the case was dropped. So this morning, Sugi San and conspirator Masahiro Hayashi who works as Sol Luna admitted to doing it to setup NOSAWA who Sugi had some issues with and Hayashi was the one that procured the drugs. Sugi said that he wanted to come clean and tell everyone because NOSAWA found out that he did it and he was coming for him so he was flying to Mexico which he was booked for anyway and he probably wouldn't be coming back for a while. AAA sent out a press release this afternoon saying that they had no knowledge of this situation and are doing their own investigation but implied that Sugi wouldn't be booked anymore.

-- Michael notes: The Bella twins have an article and layout in the new Maxim. They talk about getting into wrestling, never really talk about leaving. They mention they have gigs coming up on the NFL Network and MTV's Ridiculousness.

-- Ronda Rousey will be the subject of the next UFC All Access series, which premieres in mid-August leading to her fight on August 18th with Sarah Kaufman.

-- For the big Northeast Wrestling show on September 22nd in Fishkill, NY, they've added Sami Callihan, Goldust, Angelina Love and Velvet Sky to the previously announced Matt Hardy, Vader, Jim Duggan and, yes, Hulk Hogan. Hogan, of course, will not be wrestling.

-- ROH is advertising a special two-disc Austin Aries set on their website.

-- This week's WWE Inbox with Jack Swagger is up here.

-- New Era Wrestling presents MELTDOWN on Saturday, June 21, 2012 Boys' Club 710 South Miller Street Shelbyville, IN 46176-2406. Doors open at 6:00 PM, 7:00 PM Bell Time

-- Look who's back: The HEARTBREAKERS return to pro wrestling with Chikara

-- Headlocked writer/creator Mike Kingston (Thurs-Sun), Shane Helms (Thurs-Sat), and Rob Van Dam (Sat, Sun) will be appearing as special guests at the Quick Comics Booth (Booth 1901) at San Diego Comic Con. They will be debuting a new issue of Headlocked at the show.

-- SmackDown is going to be in Philly on September 18 and there is a pre-sale from Thursday at 10:00 am until Friday night at 10:00 pm. The password to use is YesYesYes. Thanks to Emerson.

-- New interview with Daniel Bryan.

-- SPW presents Summer Slamathon 2012 on Friday July 20 at the Casa Do Minho Portuguese Centre (1080 Wall Street) in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Tickets are $12; Doors open at 6:30 PM; Bell time at 7:00 PM. This event is an all ages, family friendly event however it will also be licensed to serve alcohol to those 18 years of age or more.

-- Final part of a Billy Gunn shoot interview is up here. The rest of the parts are up on Youtube.

Who do you think takes this fight?
Luke Rockhold 67.3%
Tim Kennedy 32.7%

Who do you expect to win the Raw Money in the Bank match?
John Cena 68.7%
Chris Jericho 20.1%
Big Show 5.8%
Kane 5.3%

Who do you expect to win this WWE title match?
C.M. Punk 39.5%
Daniel Bryan 31.9%
DQ, countout or non finish 28.6%

What did you think of Monday's Raw?
Excellent 3.0%
Good 7.0%
Average 11.3%
Fair 10.9%
Poor 67.6%
15.7% of those responding didn't see the show

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?