This is the biggest week in UFC history coming up, with shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and championship matches all three nights. There's been lots of promotion. An interesting note is if the Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt fight will be mentioned on Raw, as this would be the last Raw episode leading to the fight. Probably not, since aside from a web site article when it was announced, WWE has done nothing to promote it. It's pretty clear whatever WWE is getting out of the deal wasn't contingent on the buy rate or else they'd have pushed it. Although she has to take it and can't respond, you can just imagine Stephanie McMahon seething about what Lesnar said at the UFC media call this past week about how he doesn't give a shit about what she thinks.
The UFC preview show airs tonight at 10:30 p.m. Eastern and 7:30 p.m. Pacific on FS 1. It's a one hour show on the big four fights on PPV: Lesnar vs. Hunt, Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones, Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes and Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo. FOX will be airing the show on 7/9 at 2 p.m., or a few hours before the card starts.
We're looking for reports on today's WWE show in Huntington, WV to NewsTips@WrestlingObserver.com.
We're also looking for your thoughts on today's New Japan Kizuna Road show, thumbs up, down or in the middle, best and worst match to Dave@WrestlingObserver.com.
Raw will be Monday night from Columbus, OH. Given that Raw is on July 4th, it is likely to be the lowest rating for a Raw show in the history of the show. Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz in a rematch from Smackdown, Rusev vs. Titus O'Neil for the U.S. title and a Team USA vs. Team International 16 man elimination match have all been announced. Shane McMahon is scheduled to return.
Smackdown is Tuesday night in Toledo. No John Cena or Seth Rollins advertised. Dean Ambrose, A.J. Styles and Kevin Owens are the top names advertised.
- WWE Main Event: Dudleyz vs. Enzo & Cass highlight tag team only show
- TUF 23 recap: Miesha Tate guest coaches as the season winds down
- USA vs The World 16 man elimination set for RAW, more
- WWE Tokyo, Japan, live results: Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins; Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens
- Ric Flair returning to podcasting
The 10th annual Wrestling Observer/F4W convention in Las Vegas takes place during UFC's International Fight Week from July 7 - 11. Stay up to date on all the lastest whackiness by following Ed in San Antonio on Facebook. Plus, follow us on Twitter as we (Bryan), will be live tweeting from all the events. Use #F4WVegas to get in on the fun.
If you've ever wanted to WATCH our radio shows here on the site, check out our Youtube page! No full video shows, but lots of video clips, full free audio shows that you can tell your friends about, and much more to come! Make sure you subscribe today!
Figure Four Weekly
READ IT HERE: Figure Four Weekly 6/27/2016: WWE concussion lawsuit update, more - The latest information in WWE's concussion lawsuit.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
READ IT HERE: July 4, 2016 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: NJPW G1 tournament preview, Ali vs. Inoki anniversary, more - A preview of NJPW's G1 tournament, notes on the anniversary of Ali vs. Inoki, plus tons more.
It's a double issue week featuring a look back 40 years at what was the biggest undertaking up to that point in pro wrestling history, and Inoki vs. Ali match, how it came together, what happened that night, coverage of the upcoming G-1 Climax tournament, coverage of Ultima Lucha 3 and details on where the company stands, full coverage of the WWE cruiserweight classic, ROH Best in the World coverage as well as a look at those coming and going from the promotion, the death of Ryan Jimmo, the life and times of Gypsy Joe, and far more about the fallout of the Roman Reigns suspension.
The lead story details this years G-1 tournament including what will air in English, newcomers to the tournament, some interesting political news regarding who is and isn't in it, as well as a complete lineup for every show.
This issue looks at the background of Ali vs. Inoki, the first time boxer vs. wrestler with major stars came close to happening, boxing champions who did wrestling and wrestlers who faced boxers including involving one of the all-time greats, Thesz vs. Marciano talk, and the two best known mixed matches prior to Ali vs. Inoki in the U.S.
There is also a look at Japanese pro wrestling in the 70s and how that led to the match, the business of Billy Robinson involving Inoki vs. Baba, how Inoki was being marketed, and the attempts to put together Ali vs. Bruno Sammartino and how that led to this.
The goals of Ali vs. Inoki for the New Japan side, the pro wrestling angles, just how big the match was why the match wasn't a work, where Ali's career stood at the time, media coverage, how the terrible rules were the reason the fight, Sammartino's broken neck and return, Stan Hansen becoming a superstar in Japan, and why Ali vs. Inoki was not a success in much of the U.S, and much more in this issue of the Wrestling Observer.
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Wrestling Observer Newsletter BACK ISSUE
READ IT HERE: May 24, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: ECW Hardcore Heaven/WWF No Mercy - Amidst rumors flying everywhere of the possible demise of the company and others who are talking that the company is a short period away from growing bigger than ever, the ECW Hardcore Heaven PPV came off like a show that was a bridge for the company to something new, but when it was over, there were still no answers over whether what is new is good news or bad news... Current subscribers click here to continue reading.
SUNDAY NEWS UPDATE
Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Raw preview, New Japan Kizuna Road, CMLL Anniversary show and taking questions you can send to MailBag@WrestlingObserver.com.
Both the New Japan show today and the CMLL iPPV on Friday night were really good.Matt Sydal & Satoshi Kojima& Ricochet (pictured above) beat The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega to win the trios titles. The Young Bucks & Omega all came out wearing WWE New Day T-shirts. Proof that New Japan is very different from WWE where such a thing could never happen.
Central Intelligence featuring Dwayne Johnson is estimated at No. 6 at the box office this weekend at $12.33 million in week three. I just saw that movie last night and it was hilarious.
Pro Wrestling NOAH will decide its reps in the upcoming Super J Cup tournament on Tuesday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo with the winners of Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Taiji Ishimori, Kenou vs. Genba Hirayanagi and Hajime Ohara vs. Daisuke Harada winners going to the tournament which starts on 7/20 at Korakuen Hall. The Tuesday show also features Naomichi Marufuji & Toru Yano (Yano will be on the next ROH PPV show in Las Vegas) defending the GHC tag titles against Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka.
The movie "Marauders" with Dave Bautista had a limited release this weekend. It can also be purchased via digital download and on iTunes. Bautista plays an FBI agent investigating a series of bank heists. Bruce Willis also stars.
Sexy Star unmasked at a boxing show last night in Mexico City and said she was going into that sport. She hasn't been wrestling anywhere but Lucha Underground for a while having quit AAA. She's talked about going into boxing for some time and her husband, Jhonny Gonzalez, is a well-known boxer, and before that she dated the even bigger name boxer Erik Morales.
- The WWE crew flew home yesterday from Japan. They have the traveling day off and start back at Raw tomorrow.
- There will be a former General Manager on Raw on Monday. It's not Paul Heyman, as we've noted, as he's involved in marketing a bikini contest being held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas starting today and will be there all week.
- Steve Austin getting mainstream pub here.
- Bret Hart talks current WWE here.
- This isn't a story about Undertaker, but a Deadspin story about a party house in Florida that used to be owned by Undertaker is here. (thanks to Alex Marvez)
- I talked to Don Frye prior to his induction into the UFC Hall of Fame here.
- The Las Vegas Review Journal talks to Lorenzo Fertitta about sale.
- Fertitta looks back at UFC 100 and previews UFC 200.
- Richard Abreu, who is 7-2 and came from TUF Brazil, had a potential Anti-Doping violation stemming from an out-of-competition test. USADA informed UFC of the issue earlier today.
- Georges St-Pierre talks UFC fighter pay.
- TJ Dillashaw claims Cody Garbrandt made up the story of knocking him out in practice.
- Eddie Alvarez believes there is no such thing as overtraining and it's an excuse for people to take it easy.
- Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez talk UFC 200.
UFC odds for this week's fights from 5 Dimes:
- Eddie Alvarez +275
- Rafael dos Anjos -335
- Alan Jouban -125
- Balal Muhammad +105
- Derrick Lewis +115
- Roy Nelson -135
- Claudia Gadelha +105
- Joanna Jedrzejczyk =-125
- Ross Pearson +315
- Will Brooks -380
- Daniel Cormier +245
- Jon Jones -290
- Frankie Edgar -115
- Jose Aldo -105
- Johny Hendricks -120
- Kelvin Gastelum +100
- Amanda Nunes +210
- Miesha Tate -250
- Cain Velasquez -275
- Travis Browne +235
- Brock Lesnar +150
- Mark Hunt -170
- Diego Sanchez -105
- Joe Lauzon -115
- Jim Miller -245
- Takanori Gomi +205
- Gegard Mousasi -275
- Thiago Santos +235
- Cat Zingano -185
- Julianna Pena +160
- Raphael Assuncao +350
- TJ Dillashaw -440
- An Olympic wrestling preview is here.
- Cody Runnels will be appearing as a guest star in an upcoming episode on the fall season of "Arrow," the show with Stephan Amell. He feuded with Amell in WWE last year building up a match at SummerSlam. Both were at a pro wrestling convention in New Jersey making the announcement, saying that the two of them have become friends.
- Sorry to hear about the death of Bonnie Gomez, the wife of the late Pepper Gomez. She passed away on Friday. There will be a service next week in Alameda, where she has lived most of her life.
- The fake Bobby Heenan and Cyndi Heenan twitter accounts were both taken down today.
- Preston City Wrestling from yesterday in Blackpool, UK before 200 fans for a packed house: Iestyn Rees b El Ligero, Martin Kirby & Joey Hayes b Chris Masters & Dave Rayne, Team Single DCOR London Riots (to set up a street fight match on 8/6), Billy Gunn b Bob Holly (crowd loved them both, fans were chanting "1998" at both of them), Viper b Sammy Stoker, Sha Samuels & Lionheart b Noam Dar & Grado, Zack Sabre Jr. b Bubblegum in a very good match. Sabre said he wanted to face Bubblegum again on 9/24. (thanks to Steve Magnnis)
- Here is an update on all the issues with the University of Minnesota wrestling program, and the alleged drug issues and J Robinson (the coach who has been very successful in building the program to one of the strongest in the country and a former college roommate of Gerald Brisco).
- A story on Kurt Angle is here.
- A story on the increase in U.S. interest in New Japan Pro Wrestling here. (thanks to Adam Abdalla and Chris Cruise)
- Michael Beadle beat Greg Anthony last night in Morgan City, LA to win the NWA National championship during a show called Cajun Heat that drew more than 1,000 fans.
- Lucha Xtreme TV results from last night in Fresno: Manny Fernandez b Dark Usagi, Big Dogg b Donny Suarez, Anthony Idol b Chris Nar, Homicide b Anthony Idol.
- A new company called Best in the West says they will be running monthly in the Fresno area and opening up a wrestling school. They are going head-to-head with Lance Cardoza & Manny Fernandez's Lucha Xtreme on 7/16. Best in the West will be in Madera at the Elks Lodge #1918 with at 6 p.m. Wiseguy vs. Chupacabra. Lucha Xtreme will be in Fresno at the Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden as part of a wrestling and stand up comedy TV tapings with Fernandez and Homicide as the top names. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
- CMLL from Tuesday night in Guadalajara: Magnum & Vaquero Jr. b Diplomatico & Carlo Roggi, Escandalo & Fujin & Raijin b Pegasso & Starman & Triton, Esfinge b Furia Roja in a mask vs. mask match (Roja unmasked as Ivan Alejandro Lemus Perez, 20 years old from Guadalajara, 6 years experience), Diamante Azul & Michael Elgin & Maximo Sexy b El Terrible & Rey Bucanero & Vangellys, Atlantis & Kushida & Volador Jr. b Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa & Mr. Niebla-DQ.
- PMLL from Friday night in Tijuana: Exodo & Galaxy b Alastor & Thunder Kid, Cheyenne & Martinete b Efekto & Pitbull, Dinastia & Octagoncito b Mini Abismo Negro & Mini Psycho Clown, Amnesia & Extassis b Argenis & Elegido, Super Rhino b Drakma in a loser loses his mask match that also included Luminoso, Shamu, Zaeta, Romeo, Dick Angelo Jr., and Scream (Drakma unmasked as Eduardo Gonzalez, 35, from Toluca, with 17 years experience), Bestia 666 was the last guy left in a cage with Pentagon Jr., Damian 666 and Nicho, The Psycho Circus b Averno & Chessman & Villano IV to win the Frontera Cup). (thanks to Kris Zellner)
- Caristico and La Mascara appear on 7/23 in Pacoma, CA at the San Fernando Valley Boys & Girls Club.
- Fenix vs. Pentagon Jr. takes place on 7/24 in Woodside, NY at Club LaBoom.
- Laredo Kid vs. Brian Cage headlines on 7/13 in Benbrook TX a the Camp Bowie Bingo Hall.
- Michael Elgin & Kushida & Mascara Dorada vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa & Mr. Niebla headlines tomorrow night in Puebla for CMLL.
- Caristico & Mascara Aerea & Mascara Dorada vs. Mr. Elektro (Electroshock) & Rey Escorpion & Rush headlines on 7/15 in Tijuana at Auditorio Municipal.
- A trailer for a new interview with Lanny Poffo is here.
TODAY IN PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING HISTORY: AJ Styles & Jerry Lynn win NWA Tag Team Titles