FRI UPDATE: Big weekend schedule, Batista fighting, 148 drug tests, another TRT, Hogan update, Kharma, new radio show upgrades, Chael quotes, DirecTV and Impact, tons more



By Bryan Alvarez

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We're looking for your thoughts on Wednesday night's UFC on Fuel show, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Not the busiest of weekends, although there are live events on television the next three nights.

With Money in the Bank on Sunday, WWE is running no house shows tonight.

AXS.TV (formerly HDNet) has a live show tonight from the Arena Theater in Houston at 10 p.m. Eastern from the Legacy Fighting Championships promotion which features Jay Hieron and Robert Drysdale among others:

*Terry Acker vs. Alan Nascimento

*Nick Gonzalez vs. Rey Trujillo

*Artenas Young vs. Noel Ligon

*D.J. Linderman vs. Dale Mitchell

*Robert Drysdale vs. Ike Villenueva

*Jay Hieron vs. Romario Da Silva

*Will Campuzano vs. Chad Robichaux to create a Legacy Fighting flyweight championship

We're looking for reports on this show.

Saturday night is Strikeforce from the Rose Garden in Portland, OR:

On Showtime Extreme at 8 p.m.

*Ryan Couture vs. Joe Duarte

*Jason High vs. Nate Moore

*Jordan Mein vs. Tyler Stinson

*Pat Healy vs. Mizuto Hirota

*Justin Wilcox vs. Jorge Masvidal

On Showtime at 10 p.m.

*Robbie Lawler vs. Lorenz Larkin

*Roger Gracie vs. Keith Jardine

*Tyron Woodley vs. Nate Marquardt for the vacant welterweight title

*Luke Rockhold vs. Tim Kennedy for the middleweight title

We're also looking for reports on Saturday's shows which has a WWE joint branded show in Tucson, TNA at AutoZone Park in Memphis (Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy for TNA title, Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. Devon & Garett Bischoff for tag titles, Bobby Roode vs Crimson, James Storm vs. Magnus in the Bound for Glory series, Mr. Anderson vs. Pope in the Bound for Glory series and Velvet Sky vs. Madison Rayne) and ROH at Turner Hall in Milwaukee (Kevin Steen & Jimmy Jacobs vs. Mark & Jay Briscoe, Eddie Edwards vs. Rhino, Roderick Strong vs. B.J. Whitmer, Michael Elgin vs. Silas Young, Mike Mondo vs. Jay Lethal, Kyle O'Reilly vs. Tadarius Thomas, Rhett Titus vs. Mike Sydal, Tony Kozina vs. Samson Walker).

Sunday has the WWE Money in the Bank PPV from Phoenix:

*C.M. Punk vs. Daniel Bryan for WWE title with A.J. as referee

*John Cena vs. Big Show vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kane in the Raw Money in the Bank match

*Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio for the world title

*Cody Rhodes vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Santino Marella vs. Sin Cara vs. Damien Sandow, Tensai vs. Christian vs Tyson Kidd in the Smackdown Money in the Bank match

*Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs. Hunico & Camacho (on You Tube at 7:30 p.m. Eastern)

The 999th episode of Raw will be on Monday night in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Smackdown will be on Tuesday night in San Diego at the Valley View Casino Arena. Rey Mysterio is advertised on the show.

        A look at the future for Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva, as well as full coverage of UFC 148, all the business notes, ratings, PPV numbers, Brazil numbers, records set, other records not set is one of our lead stories in this week's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

       We also have a look at the Austin Aries TNA title win, the story behind it, why it's significant, and full coverage of Destination X and TNA's title picture future.

        We also have more on the DirecTV-Viacom issues, Impact becoming a three-hour block, the controversial Kenny King to TNA issue and notes on the 2012 G-1 Climax tournament

      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 biggest wrestling crowds in history with coverage of the original World Wrestling Peace Festival put on by New Japan with help from WCW, the debut of someone who went on to be one of the biggest drawing cards of the last decade, and all the news from WCW, ECW and WWF from that time period.

 
        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.
 
        If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today.  With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today.  Just sent your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, card number and expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can order at www.paypal.com and use the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it address.
 
        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. 
 
        Our lead story looks at UFC 148 as far as worldwide interest and coverage goes, as well as thoughts on the performance of both men, why this fight was different than the first fight between the two, looking at the variables, the knee, the talks of protesting, the reality of a rematch, why Anderson Silva was in such hot water with the Nevada commission, why other fighters were calling him a cheater and more.
 
        We also have early thoughts on the PPV number, where it stands, the key media coverage, the reason why the number wasn't as high as its potential, live show business notes, records set, Silva's new records, Silva's future, Sonnen's future, the retirement of Tito Ortiz, the Ortiz vs. Griffin feud as well as match-by-match coverage as well as how much the fighters got paid for their matches.
 
        We look at how the DirecTV/Viacom issue affects TNA as long as it lasts.
 
        We also have an update on the 1,000th episode of Raw, including lots of names confirmed, others rumored and who should be on the show. 
 
        We look at plans for the three hour show, lots of new WWE signings, Injury updates and new main events planned and being advertised.  We've also got notes on the WWE business over the past week and highlights from all the weekend house shows.
 
        We've also got a look at Austin Aries as X champion and the Destination X show, the Bobby Roode vs. James Storm feud, what surprised me about the audience reaction and how it shows TNA did a good job in promoting the match in at least one way, thoughts on TNA's X Division and its newcomers, the A.J. Styles vs Christopher Daniels feud, as well as match-by-match coverage and star ratings.
 
        We also look at the new TNA show, "Rewind," look back at the similar show from 2010, the reason for the show and what kind of numbers it needs to do to be competitive in that slot.
 
        We also look at the 22nd annual G-1 Climax tournament.  We look at the participants, the blocks and the main matches each night, as well as thoughts on who should be the favor ties for what is one of the traditional biggest events of the year in pro wrestling.
 
        We also look at both sides of the Kenny King situation, with the ROH side, the King side, and thoughts on his decision and how he handled his business.  We also look at the ROH tag team title situation.
 
        We look at some ironies in what happened and why TNA likely didn't worry about any decision they made.
 
        We've also got a look at Aniversario, the biggest weekend of the year in Puerto Rico, including the Knockout vs. Divas series with one of TNA's biggest stars facing a longtime WWE regular, as well as the former WWE stars on the show.  We also look back to the glory days of Aniversario and some of the biggest events in the history of the island when wrestling there was at its height.  We look back to the incident Puerto Rico wrestling is most remembered for.  We also have a look at the current stars and the imports.
 
        We also have an update on how many homes all the TV stations that carry wrestling and MMA are available in with people dropping cable and satellite over the past year.
 
         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 have results from all the major league arena events over the past week as well as previews of all the major television shows.
 
Also in this week's issue:
 
--Update from Mexico
 
--The last tapings that air in Mexico before TripleMania and what TNA stars are being brought in
 
--Sad news about NOAH's big show of the week
 
--New Japan opens its tour and new direction of some programs and new title matches coming over the next few weeks
 
--A strange story regarding the arrest of Nosawa
 
--Shinjiro Otani's 20th anniversary show and the outsiders and interesting matches brought in
 
--The first paid show inside China of this period before WWE and UFC get into the country
 
--Update on Ric Flair
 
--Debut of two new promotions including one by a former WWE star and who he's using
 
--Update on Davey Richards in ROH
 
--Where Kyle O'Reilly fits in
 
--This week's ROH show
 
--A look at angles they considered that fell through
 
--Lots of notes on Bound for Glory this year
 
--Update on the Bound for Glory series
 
--More on the Claire Lynch angle
 
--What new TV show is looking at a key person in TNA to be one of the stars of the show
 
--A family member of one of WWE's top execs is looking at a TNA deal
 
--Ironic notes of what Paul Heyman said to Spike two years ago when they were in talks
 
--Notes on someone who was talked about for a TNA role and how his doing Bound for Glory will be difficult
 
--A new non-wrestling project Kurt Angle is working on
 
--Abyss wrestles in the U.S.
 
--TNA's only house show of the past week
 
--Update on Alistair Overeem and what happened with he and Dana White
 
--Update on Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez
 
--Update on UFC on FOX
 
--Dana White talks about why he was mad at the Brazil PPV
 
--Notes on Ronda Rousey's ESPN Magazine cover
 
--New Ronda Rousey TV show details
 
--More on future booking of Rousey
 
--This week's Strikeforce show
 
--UFC Fighter Summit notes
 
--Notes on Fuel TV's UFC plans going forward for the rest of the year and into next year
 
--Notes on U.S. airing of the Australia/U.K. version of Ultimate Fighter
 
--How the Brazil version has been doing on Fuel
 
--Notes on new UFC signings
 
--UFC injury updates
 
--Notes on why a fight where both fighters agreed to extensive drug testing isn't going to have that level of testing
 
--Lots of new UFC fights
 
 
Rates are:
 
        For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for 4, $33 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 or 52.  In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For the rest of the world, rates are $15.50 for 4, $41 for 12, $78 for 24, $126 for 40 issues and $163 for 52 .
 
        If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
 
        We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk, Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods.
 
        To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
 

-- Rare Vince McMahon interview up at WWE.comtalking the history of Monday Night Raw.

-- Big Dave Batista, 43, is making his MMA debut. From his Twitter: "I'm making my MMA debut oct 6th live on PPV check it! BOOOOM there's the announcement. Sorry haters!" Show takes place October 6 at the Duncan Doughnuts Theater in Providence, Rhode Island. He'll be facing a guy named Rashid Evans who is 1-2 as an amateur. Batista has been training in MMA for quite awhile now and recently got his blue belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. TMZ claims the fight will air somewhere. You can see a picture of a mean-lookin Big Dave here.

-- PWInsider is reporting that the reason Hulk Hogan was laid out last night on Impact was because he needs another back surgery.

-- Everyone at UFC 148, including Chael Sonnen, was tested for prohibited substances and everyone passed.

-- On that subject, Larry Pepe claimed on Twitterthat Forrest Griffin fought on the show with a TRT exemption. That has not been confirmed.

-- Charlie Sheen, who was scheduled to be Raw's Social Media Ambassador or some such nonsense on the 1,000th Raw, announced today that he was done with Twitter since he believed he wasn't getting anything out of it.

-- No update on Kharma aside from the fact that there are people in WWE who believe she was released yesterday and that the website department screwed up and jumped the gun early. This would not be the first time they screwed up in the last few months. In fact, not the 10th time, or more.

-- Ronda Rousey wants to beat up Kim Kardashian: I would beat the crap out of Kim Kardashian, actually. Any girl who is famous and idolized because she made a sex video with some guy and that’s all she’s known for. “Oh, I got my fame from sucking dick.” I think its ridiculous. I’m sorry, but its true. It’s not shocking. Why is everyone slipping it under the cover now? “Oh yeah, she’s selling Skechers to thirteen year olds.” I don’t want some girl whose entire fame is based on a sex video to be selling Skechers to my thirteen year old sister. That’s the horrible kind of role model that I really do not want to be around, why I’m doing things like this: Because girls like Kim Kardashian are being pushed in my sister’s face, and it’s just not healthy. She shouldn’t even have role models like this. And that’s why I’m doing stuff like ESPN Body, because someone needs to do it, for god sakes.The video is up on our front page right now.

-- For those who have been following the story of the missing purse, Alaska Airlines just called this morning. They found it. Where is has been for the last five days is a mystery to me, but they have it and everything in it, which is about the best way to start a weekend imaginable. Thanks to everyone who wrote nice things on Twitter about the discovery, including Brutal Bob Evans who wrote, "Congratulations. Now you're a complete woman again."

-- Figure Four Weekly will be up in a few hours. Between trying to replace a bunch of cards and install new audio equipment here in the studio, it was a rough week.

-- With that said, we have a new system installed that should not only improve the quality of the guest's audio on the show (99% of you won't notice, but I do), but we also now have four phone lines available. Starting in two weeks (next week will be a partial schedule, but regular listeners are aware that I will, in fact, be in the Cascades on an expedition with the Bigfoot Field Research Association from Thursday through Saturday) (seriously), the radio schedule for both Dave and myself will be as follows:

Monday:
Figure Four Daily with Open Lines
Wrestling Observer Radio

Tuesday:
Figure Four Daily with a guest
Bryan & Vinny Show

Wednesday
Figure Four Daily with Josh Nason or Karl Stern
Wrestling Observer Radio

Thursday
Figure Four Daily with Todd Martin
Figure Four Daily with Dr. Lucha or Lance Storm
Bryan & Vinny Show

Friday
Figure Four Daily with Open Lines

Saturday and Sunday
Weekend Observer Radios after PPVs
Wrestling Observer Live

-- There may be a few changes to the above, including perhaps moving a Thursday show to Friday to balance things out better. The new Open Lines shows will allow listeners to call in and discuss either what happened the previous weekend (Monday shows) what is to come the following weekend (Friday shows), or just to ask questions or give thoughts on wrestling, MMA or pretty much anything else. This change will also allow us to take calls occasionally on some of the other shows as well, meaning if you want to call in to talk to Lance Storm, for example, that will now be an option. How often we take calls on the other shows depends on the quality of the calls, so please always have a good questions ready when you call in.

-- There will continue to be one free show available on the front page per week. If you're not a subscriber and you love the free shows, I really encourage signing up. It's only $10.99 per month (we take all major credit card and PayPal payments), and not only will you get access to all of these new shows, but you also get full access to our entire archive of shows dating back to 2005 (every show we've ever done, over 10,000 hours of audio, and that includes shows interviewing such legends as Bret Hart, Ric Flair, Bruno Sammartino, etc.), plus new and archived Wrestling Observer and Figure Four Weekly newsletters. Click hereto sign up, you won't regret it.

-- The NXT Title tournament kicked off at the last set of tapings with the following wrestlers involved: Richie Steamboat, Bo Dallas, Seth Rollins, Leo Kruger, Michael McGillicutty, Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal and Justin Gabriel. When the smoke cleared the final two remaining are Mahal and Rollins, with the winner being crowned on the show that tapes July 26th.

-- A lower-rent version of last year's CM Punk invading Comic Con gimmick occurred today with Alberto del Rio, and the video is here.

-- Since it was discussed on today's Figure Four Daily with Karl Stern, TNA does not put up episodes of Impact after they air. However, due to the DirecTV impasse, starting with this week's show they'll be putting the episodes online seven days after they air until everything is squared away. I'd guess there's at least a chance it'll be squared away before the first seven days even ends.

-- Smackdown tonight has Friday Night Zackdown with Ryder in charge of the show, plus Sheamus vs. Chris Jericho, Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara, Big Show vs. Great Khali, Primo vs. Darren Young, Dolph & Cody vs. Christian & Santino, Ryback vs. Tyler Reks and Damian Sandow vs. Justin Gabriel. That's a lot of matches.

-- Some Chael Sonnen quotes from UFC Tonight on FUEL TV last night:

Sonnen on if Anderson’s knee kick was illegal: “Well first off I would never appeal a loss. The referee’s decision is final. Those are the rules I agreed to before the event. I agreed to play by those rules are. But no I would not appeal it. The knee hit me in the face and yes you can’t hit the knee to the face, but it is the referee’s call and there is no replay. I don’t want that to change. I have done things in the octagon at spare of the moment also. The referee didn’t say anything, so it’s fair game. The knee landed where the knee landed, the result is the same and I don’t dispute the results.”

Sonnen on if there is still beef between him and Silva: “Listen, you know that was very nice what he said [inviting him to his family BBQ] but at the end of the day I never wished Silva a bad life. I shook his hand in the ring and I wish him a good life. If I had the chance to fight him again, I would definitely take it. I am appreciative of him and of the chance he gave me to fight him again and the first time. I was very good for Anderson, but Anderson was very good for me too.”

Sonnen on what’s next for him in the UFC: “I love this sport and I would never want to retire. My coach Clayton will be the one that retires me based on my results and productivity in practice. I could have easily defeated him, physically I’m fine, mentally im fine. Give me a couple of weeks to settle in and when you get in the spot that I am in, we will see. Anderson could retire any day now. And there is simply an option to start over by changing weight class. My mentors have done it and it could happen. I would go up to 205. Jon Jones. There are some great guys at 185, but traditionally and historically it is a good way to get a fresh start and start over.”

-- Ring of Honor Wrestling announced "Supercard of Honor VII" for Friday April 5, 2013 at the Hammerstein Ballroom (Manhattan Center) 311 W. 34th Street New York, NY 10001 Belltime – 7:30PM. Tickets on Sale: Ringside Members – Saturday July 14th @ 10AM General Public – Tuesday July 17th @ 10AM.

-- Sad to report the end of WrestleCrap Radio after seven years. The rest of the site will remain the same. RD Reynolds is my co-author in crime of Death of WCW, and you can check out the legendary site here. They video podcast with Bill Apter will also continue.

-- Tonight (Friday, July 13, 2012) at 7 p.m. the Main Event Training Center, 312 E. Oakland Park Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, there will be a pro wrestling seminar with four time former NWA World Heavyweight Champion "Scrap Iron" Adam Pearce.

-- Tom notes: The Big Show's music was played at the All-Star Game on Tuesday night because St. Louis Cardinal Matt Holiday uses that as his music in St. Louis when he comes to bat. Also, don't forget TCW's Summer Clash this Saturday at the Fort Smith, AR Convention Center. Carlito, Bushwacker Luke and Big Daddy V join the TCW stars for a huge TV taping. Former Arkansas boxing star Bobby Crabtree makes an appearance as well.

-- Ed writes: At the HMV store in Burnaby, BC you can buy the "No Holds Barred" DVD for $15 and it comes with "Hulk Hogan's Unreleased Collectors Set" and at the nearby Future Shop store you can get the Edge movie "Bending The Rules" and that comes with "A Decade Of Decadence" also for $15 so there are some good bargains to be had for wrestling fans!

-- Notes from Mexico with Kris Zellner: AAA held a press conference today to announce part of the lineup for Triplemania XX which will take place on 8/5 at the sprawling new Arena Ciudad de Mexico City and the main event will be a big mask match that has been building up for months with Dr. Wagner Jr. who will have his brother Silver Kain in his corner going up against Mascara Ano Dos Mil Jr. who will have his father Mascara Ano Dos Mil in his corner. Also, there has been issues with the Arena Coliseo de Guadalajara shows not being on local TV the past few weeks and promoter Apolo Dantes cleared up the confusion by announcing that the road outside the building has been under repairs lately and the TV truck hasn't been able to get to the building. Apolo said that he hopes this will be cleared up in the next two weeks.

-- Full TripleMania card:

8/5 - Arena Ciudad de Mexico City (Triplemania XX)
1. Fenix/Fabi Apache/Octagoncito/Pimpinela Escarlata vs. Dark Dragon/Sexy Star/Mini Charly Manson/Yuriko
2. La Parka Jr./The Psycho Circus (Monster Clown/Murder Clown/Psycho Clown) vs. Hijo del Texano/Octagon/Semental/Toscano (Octagon teaming with El Consejo is odd)
3. Losing Roldan Gets Shaved: Electroshock & L.A. Par-K (Joaquin Roldan) vs. Jeff Jarrett & TNA Surprise (Dorian Roldan)
4. Cuadrangular Relevos Suicias: Jack Evans & Teddy Hart vs. Extreme Tiger & Halloween vs. Joe Lider & Psicosis Original vs. Juventud Guerrera & Chessman
5. AAA Mega Heavyweight Title: El Mesias (c) vs. Perro Aguayo Jr.
6. Mascara contra Mascara: Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. Mascara Ano Dos Mil Jr.

-- Ed and his crew talk the Las Vegas Convention and more tonight on the show here. They'll also be joined by Mikey Whipwreck in the first hour.

-- If you have DirecTV
I'm missing Impact and am mad 34.4%
Don't watch Impact anyway 29.4%
Will find a way to watch Impact at a friends home or other means 23.1%
Am missing Impact but don't care 13.1%

Who is the best of the current major world champions?
C.M. Punk 40.6%
Austin Aries 33.1%
Hiroshi Tanahashi 14.1%
Kevin Steen 5.9%
Jun Akiyama 2.0%
Sheamus 1.5%
Takeshi Morishima 1.4%
Mesias 0.9%
El Terrible 0.5%

Who do you most want to see face Anderson Silva for the title next?
Michael Bisping 41.0%
Chris Weidman 29.6%
Hector Lombard 21.3%
Brian Stann 5.7%
Tim Boetsch 2.4%

Which of these fights do you have the most interest in?
Jones vs. Anderson Silva 48.5%'
GSP vs. Anderson Silva 38.6%
Jones vs. Junior Dos Santos 9.1%
Ben Henderson vs. Aldo 2.6%
GSP vs. Ben Henderson 1.2%

Besides John Cena and those already in, what current WWE wrestler do you feel is the strongest Hall of fame candidate
Brock Lesnar 18.7%
Big Show 11.3%
Kane 10.8%
Booker T 10.5%
Randy Orton 9.6%
Kevin Nash 9.6%
C.M. Punk 8.5%
Daniel Bryan 7.8%
Sin Cara 7.1%
Christian 4.3%
The Miz 0.9%

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If you have purchased a New Japan iPPV in the past, are you getting the Styles vs. Okada show on 5/3?

 

What show will draw more total viewers?

 

What did you think of Friday night's Smackdown?

 

Will Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira next week top 400,000 buys?