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SAT. UPDATE: UFC 187 preview, Mid-South Coliseum event, BOSJ, and more

by David Bixenspan | davidbix@wrestlingobserver.comFollow @davidbix

TV/show notes for tonight:

The major event of the day is, of course, UFC 187 from Las Vegas, Nevada, which Dave will provide live coverage of from press row:

Main card on PPV at 10:00 p.m. ET:
Anthony Johnson (205) vs. Daniel Cormier (205) for the vacant light heavyweight title
Chris Weidman (185) vs. Vitor Belfort (184) for Weidman’s middleweight title
Donald Cerrone (156) vs. John Makdessi (155.5)
Travis Browne (236.5) vs. Andrei Arlovski (241)
Joseph Benavidez (125.5) vs. John Moraga (126)

Prelims on Fox Sports 1 at 8:00 p.m. ET:
John Dodson (125.5) vs. Zach Makovsky (126)
Dong Hyun Kim (170.5) vs. Josh Burkman (170.5)
Uriah Hall (186) vs. Rafael Natal (185.5)
Rose Namajunas (116) vs. Nina Ansaroff (120)

Prelims on UFC Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. ET:
Mike Pyle (171) vs. Colby Covington (170.5)
Islam Makhachev (155.5) vs. Leo Kuntz (155.5)
Justin Scoggins (126) vs. Josh Sampo (126)

This is a really excellent card, even with the removal of Jon Jones from the main event and Khabib Nurmagomedov from the Cerrone fight bring it down from the heights it could have reached. Every single main card fight and three of the four televised prelims have ranked fighters and plenty of divsional relevance, and most of the fights, if not all, sound entertaining on paper. It's also, for whatever reason, a flyweight showcase, with two matches of top ten 125 pounders as well as Scoggins-Sampo being a solid matchup of exciting prospects.

The big hook coming out of the weigh-ins last night is Chris Weidman (who's usually incredibly polite and reserved at these types of events) jawing with Vitor Belfort during the staredown and then explaining during his interview with Joe Rogan that he was calling out Belfort for "still cheating" and taking steroids. On out of competition testing that's been released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Belfort, who theoretically should have low testosterone levels since he needed testosterone replacement therapy, had noticeably higher levels than Weidman.

That said, the tests in question were urine tests and not blood tests (which are the most reliable for total testosterone levels), so not knowing what time of day the samples were collected (among other variables), it's not quite as cut and try as what Weidman is saying, though it's absolutely suspicious that Belfort doesn't have low levels.

As noted yesterday, Dish Network and the UFC have come to an agreement, so Dish customers will have access to the PPV tonight. Make sure to check out Josh Nason's preview of the main card with the Observer panel picks. Feedback on the show (as well as NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable) with best match/worst match and if you rate the show thumbs up/down/in the middle should be sent to

Two of the biggest/best drawing indies in the United States have shows tonight, as Northeast Wrestling is running Bethany, CT with Matt Taven vs. Donovan Dijiak and PWS is running their home base of Rahway, NJ with Colt Cabana, Brian Myers, Amazing Red, Sonjay Dutt, Eddie Kingston, Ashley Massaro, and more.

We're looking for results/reports from any show you may happen to go to this weekend, but especially the WWE house shows tonight (Worcester and Utica) and tomorrow (White Plains and Binghamton). Send those to


The newest issue of Figure Four Weekly is up on the site for subscribers (subscribe here) with a detailed look at the history of popular music being used in pro wrestling, including:

* Who actually did the first pro wrestling music video?

* The role of popular songs gtting major acts over.

* What made the use of music in ECW so special.

* How "real" songs make wrestlers stand out in a sea of in-house productions.

And much more. Plus, as always, we have  all of the usual reviews and international news.

Also, now available for the first time on Kindle (meaning Kindle devices and anything with the Kindle app) is Fall Guys, the seminal 1937 book that has been described as being like the 1930s version of the Wrestling Observer. It was surprisingly not on Kindle already, so we put together a nice version with a full table of contents w/ chapter marks, proper formatting on everything, etc. Right now it's available from the AmericanCanadian, and Australian Amazon/Kindle stores OR you can also buy it from anywhere in the world on PayHip, who will provide you with both Kindle and ePub (every other e-reader) format files, and you can either sideload them to your device or have them email it to your Kindle. 


The new issue of the Wrestling Observer is among the most talked about of the year, with a detailed lead story on the plight of every key non-WWE promotion, as well as details of TNA's future with Destination America, ROH viewership and more, a detailed look at how MMA is going to be changing with far more serious repercussions for drug test failures and the story behind the changes, a look at Elimination Chamber, a rundown of Payback, a detailed update NXT with coverage of its Northeast tour, and of the ROH/New Japan tour.  We also look at the Urijah Faber vs. Frankie Edgar show and the death of Corey Hill.

The new issue is up on the site here.

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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 lead story looks at the battle for the No. 2 spot in American pro wrestling.  We look at ROH, TNA, GFW and Lucha Underground, as well as how WWE may have created the real No. 2.  We look at where things stand with all the groups, both in going forward, if they even can go forward, the TV situation with everyone, tons of changes in TNA television with the move to Wednesday. 

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We also look at the next group of wrestlers getting WWE tryouts, what group in WWE is history, what person from another sport was a guest trainer last week, and a former MMA fighter signs with WWE.  We've also got business notes for all the weekend WWE shows and highlights of the events.

We've also got full coverage of UFC's morning show from The Philippines, including the retirement of Mark Munoz, Urijah Faber vs. Frankie Edgar and business notes from the show.

We also have a story on the death of former UFC fighter Corey Hill, as well as one of the worst injuries in UFC history, why people thought he had championship potential and what happened.

We've also got notes on AAA's big show of he weekend, Verano de Escandalo, with many of the stars of Lucha Underground, as well as Rey Mysterio Jr.

The Observer is the world's most detailed weekly pro wrestling publication, in its 32nd year of publication, and is read by the biggest names in the pro wrestling, industry, MMA industry, sports world and on Wall Street.

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Also in this week's issue:

--One of biggest stars in Mexico under a police investigation and has been pulled from bookings

--Full details on how this went down

--Octagon first Arena Mexico appearance

--Big tournament coming up

--New Japan star headed to CMLL

--Huge head-to-head battle on Sunday with loaded shows a few miles from each other

--Lineup for the AAA World Cup tournament

--Notes on this week's iPPV of World Cup

--King of Gate tournament coming up to this finals this week

--One of the greatest pro wrestling stars of the 70s returns to Japan at the end of the month

--A look at all the New Japan Super Juniors shows of the week and complete New Japan World lineup of multiple shows

--Update on health of one of 80s biggest names

--More details on Global Force Wrestling including lineups for the first four shows

--Who are newcomers that they have added

--Who was pulled from the promotion

--An update on Scott Hall

--Update on Bill Goldberg and his appearance on a pro wrestling event

--Huge fund raiser to commemorate regional wrestling from the 70s with tons of area stars involved

--Notes on ROH Final Battle

--More on ROH signing of Moose

--Who else had made a play for him

--Main events for the next few ROH shows

--A look at ROH television over the next month

--Why this week's first-run Impact show didn't air in the U.S.

--A look at the Impact schedule and more on the time slot change

--TNA's U.K. tour notes

--More on Billy Corgan in TNA

--Dixie Carter talks to Steve Austin, fact vs. fiction

--TNA loses anther time slot

--A look at this coming week's UFC show

--Lots of UFC card changes and why

--UFC debuts in South Korea in the fall

--Who are the biggest stars from there

--Will UFC's books be made public due to lawsuit

--UFC expected to sign WSOF champion

--A look at all the activities in July in conjunction with UFC in Las Vegas and Fight Week

--Lots of new UFC fights

--A look at Bellator's last show and next show

--Former Pride star put in jail

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*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)

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*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)

*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)

*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)

*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)

*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)

*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)

*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)

*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)

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*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)

*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)

*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)

*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)

*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)

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Saturday Daily Update

-- As Dave noted last night, Dana White announced on AXS TV's Inside MMA that Bas Rutten will be going into the UFC Hall of Fame this year as the pioneer era fighter inductee. To add to what Dave said, depending on how much you count Pancrase as MMA, Rutten was arguably the first relatively well rounded MMA fighter, starting as a Dutch style kickboxer and picking up catch wrestling submissions quickly. He was also one hell of a gifted rookie pro wrestler in the handful of matches he had. He was put in with great workers like Osamu Nishimura (Part 1, Part 2), Koji Kanemoto, Yuji Nagata (Part 1, Part 2), and Carl Malenko, but he always looked like he fit in.

-- The Roundhouse Revival event to push for the preservation of the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis is ongoing as I write this, and lasts until 6:00 p.m. local time. The city is pushing the demolition of the building to make way for a multi-purpose athletics center (similar to what happened to Maple Leaf Gardens) and obviously there are a lot of people who want to stop that. The Memphis Business Journal has the full schedule of events at the end of their article, long-time home of Memphis wrestling WMC TV did a brief story on the event, and local newspaper of record the Memphis Commercial Appeal has a fairly detaild article

-- NJPW results from Saitama: ReDragon defeated Mascara Dorada & Jay White,Tomoaki Honma, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask IV defeated Captain New Japan, David Finlay & Sho Tanaka, Gedo defeated Yohei Komatsu in BOSJ block A, Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Barbaro Cavernario in BOSJ block A, Kazuchika Okada & Barreta defeated Yujiro Takahashi & Cody Hall, Nick Jackson defeated KUSHIDA in BOSJ block B, and Hirooki Goto, Togi Makabe, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Katsuyori Shibata defeated Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & YOSHI-HASHI.

Rocky Romero vs. Alex Shelley didn't take place as scheduled due to an ankle injury suffered by Shelley at yesterday's show when Finlay fell on him awkwardly. It's not clear yet if he's pulled from the torunament and will be forefeiting his matches or if he just needed a night off and they'll catch up.

-- Tammy Sytch told TMZ that she's now starting to lead towards taking Vivid's six figure offer for her to do porn, with one big holdup being that they want her video set in a wrestling ring and she feels it's played out. 

-- UFC announced that Eddie Wineland will be returning from his year-plus layoff to fight Brian Caraway at UFC on Fox: Dillashaw vs. Barao II in Chicago in July.

-- Deadspin has an article from Patrick Wyman about Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechen Republic/accused war criminal, and his connections to MMA, including paying Chris Weidman, Fabricio Werdum, and Frank Mir to hang out with him. Worth taking some time to read this even if you're not a MMA fan. 

-- This article from the Danville Commercial News in Danville, Illinois reads like something Bryan would write in Flying Mare. It's about fans lining up to buy tickets when they went on sale for the WWE house show in the city in July. One fan, who drove an hour and camped all night to buy small market 2015 WWE house show tickets at the box office, was quoted as saying “I like John Cena. I like Dolph Ziggler, too.” Seriously though, that's awesome.

-- Iain Kidd did a good breakdown of the Belfort and Weidman drug tst results at Bloody Elbow.

-- Mike Fagan examines the UFC Code of Conduct at MMASucka in light of the previously suspended Anthony Johnson main eventing tonight's UFC 187 PPV.

-- Myself and Dylan Hales joined Kris Zellner on the latest episode of his Exile on Badstreet podcast for part one of our look at Jim Crockett Promotions in 1988.