Video: UFC on Fox 8, “Road to the Octagon” Full Episode

The UFC returns this Saturday as UFC on Fox 8 place this Saturday from the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington. The main event will feature Demetrious Johnson defending his UFC flyweight title against number one contender John Moraga.

Also in action will be Rory McDonald facing Jake Ellenberger in welterweight action, Robbie Lawler battling Bobby Voelker in a welterweight war and kicking off the main card on Fox will be former UFC women’s bantamweight number one contender Liz Carmouche looking to get back on track facing off Jessica Andrade.

The UFC yesterday aired the traditional, “Road to the Octagon” on Fox to preview some of the fights on Saturday’s card. The episode featured Johnson vs Moraga, McDonald vs Ellenberger and Lawler vs Voelker.

Watch the full episode of the show above.

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Kurt Pellegrino Returns From Retirement to Fight at November Bellator Event

In the world of combat sports it is hard for fighters to stay retired. For Kurt Pellegrino, that is the case as well.

Bellator announced today in a press release that they will be going to Revel Casino Atlantic City in New Jersey on November 15 with Pellegrino on the card facing Saul Almeida.

Pellegrino hasn’t fought since Bellator 59 in November of 2011 when he lost Patricky “Pitbull” Friere in the first round by TKO.

“I’ve been in retirement for the last two years, but I’ve been in the gym every day since and the competitive fire has still been burning inside of me,” Pellegrino said in the press release. “Every morning I wake up I realize I had the same dream as the night before, and it’s to go out the way I want. With Bellator back in Atlantic City, this is my opportunity to end my nightmare and go out the way I want, the way I deserve.”

Bellator also put out in the release that Tom DeBlass will be fighting on the card with the welterweight and featherweight tournament finals taking place.

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Between The Ropes Wrestling Podcast – July 22, 2013

Brian and Steve talk about the current cuts in TNA Wrestling including both Bruce Pritchard and D’Lo Brown being let go, the current position of TNA, the issues with the house show over the weekend, a preview of tonight’s edition of WWE Raw, talk of Steve Austin returning at WrestleMania 30, the role of WrestleMania for the company and more.

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TNA Needs to Grow Up and Start Acting Like a Real Business

impact_wrestling_logoNews broke early this morning that TNA had to offer refunds for a house show Saturday night in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Apparently, some states still require professional wrestlers to get licensed and tested, much like MMA fighters, while other states allow them to fall into the “professional entertainer” category. To put this in perspective, WWE recently ran a show in Cape Girardeau without any newsworthy issues. [Read more...]

“UFC World Tour” Is Official

In the UFC we have seen press tours for the event headliners in that the main event will travel to the city to drum up interest for the card. Now the organization has expanded beyond that idea.

The UFC officially announced late yesterday that they will be doing a “UFC World Tour”, where they will be taking the headliners from UFC 165, UFC 166, UFC 167, UFC 168 around the world spanning five countries in five days.

The organization announced in the press release that the fighters on the tour will feature UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and challenger Junior Dos Santos; UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and challenger Alexander Gustafsson; UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and challenger Johny Hendricks; UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and challenger Miesha Tate.

UFC 165 will be taking place on September 21 from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto with the Jones defending his light heavyweight title against Gustafsson. UFC 166 will be taking place on October 19 from the Toyota Center in Houston with the trilogy fight of Velasquez defending his heavyweight title against Dos Santos. UFC 167 will be taking place on November 16 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas with St-Pierre defending his welterweight title against Hendricks. UFC 168 will be taking place on December 28 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas with Rousey defending her women’s bantamweight title against Tate in the co-main event. The headliners of the card will be Chris Weidman defending his middleweight title against Anderson Silva, but neither guy will be apart of the tour.

The tour will feature cities where the cards will be taking place, where some of the fighters reside and major cities around the world.

Here is the information for the UFC World Tour:

July 30 – Los Angeles, California –Club Nokia at Nokia Live, 11 AM PT: UFC president Dana White hosts a press conference live with UFC® heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, UFC® light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Alexander Gustafsson, UFC® welterweight champion George St-Pierre, Johny Hendricks, UFC® women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. Free and open to the public; streamed live on UFC.com.

July 31 – New York, New York –Beacon Theatre, 1 PM ET: UFC president Dana White hosts a press conference live with UFC® heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, UFC® light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Alexander Gustafsson, UFC® welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, Johny Hendricks, UFC® women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. Free and open to the public; streamed live on UFC.com.

August 1 – Montreal, Canada – Complexe Desjardins, 12:30 PM ET: UFC Director of Canadian Operations Tom Wright hosts a press conference with UFC® welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks. Free and open to the public; streamed live on UFC.com.

August 1 – Houston, Texas –Toyota Center, 1 PM CT: Open workouts and interviews with UFC® heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos. Free and open to the public.

August 1 – Stockholm, Sweden: Press tour with UFC® light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson.

August 2 – Dallas, Texas – Cowboys Stadium, 1 PM CT: Open workouts and interviews on the field UFC® welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks. Free and open to the public.

August 2 – Chicago, Illinois: Press tour with UFC® women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate.

August 2 – London, England: Press tour with UFC® light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson.

August 2 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – HSBC Arena, 3 PM BRT: UFC® heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos to participate in joint Q & A session prior to weigh-ins for UFC 163. Free and open to the public.

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TNA Impact Wrestling TV Draws Highest Rating Since January

Well it looks a themed pay-per-view that aired on free television could be the boost that TNA needed.

Thursday’s edition of Impact Wrestling scored 1.16 rating with an average of 1.494 million viewers. Last week’s show scored a 0.99 rating with an average of 1.190 million viewers.

The show was a Destination X theme with some solid matches especially the opening bout between Austin Aries and Bobby Roode and the main event where Chris Sabin defeated Bully Ray to become the TNA heavyweight champion.

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WWE Smackdown Rundown – July 19th, 2013

smackdown outlineEntertaining edition of WWE Smackdown. The matches didn’t fully deliver, but the show had enough going for it to keep viewers intrigued. Let’s look closer: [Read more...]

Revisiting TNA’s Destination X 2013

destination xThis is the final part in a ongoing series, looking TNA’s product from a non-fan perspective. Check out Week One and Week Two.

Apologies for skipping last-week’s IMPACT WRESTLING (see, you have to bold it like that because it artificially makes the product more exciting). Some stuff happened, sure, but none of it felt terribly important. I know, I know… Rampage Jackson joined the Main Event Mafia last week. Big news. Should have covered it. So here’s my week-late article:

Rampage Jackson was announced last-night as the 5th wrestler celebrity of the NWO Main-Event Mafia. Because out of all the talent on the TNA roster to recruit from, Sting, Samoa Joe, and Kurt Angle felt it best to pick somebody who has never wrestled before to join their Main-Event level squad.

In the words of Damien Sandow: You’re Welcome.

Of course, I made that comment about Rampage Jackson before TNA fired about half of their personnel in series of cost-cutting moves (read: Hulkamania is expensive). So maybe I should cut TNA a little slack.

Last night on Twitter, I was told that Rampage Jackson is the “muscle” of the group, which is why he doesn’t have to wear a suit like everybody else. I can buy that logic. But I don’t understand the booking logic in advertising Destination X as the pay-per-view event of the summer, and then delivering with a series of qualifying matches for next week’s Impact Wrestling.

Right, because it makes the most sense to hold the popular Ultimate X match until the week AFTER your pay-per-view show, which is supposed to highlight the X Division. Of course, when a show in the year 2013 opens up with Hulk Hogan, Bully Ray, and Brooke Hogan, you know that TNA Creative doesn’t quite have its priorities in check. Not that I don’t love me some Bully Ray (his heel schtick never gets old), but at least let him kick off the show with somebody NOT named Hogan Bollea.

Speaking of “kick off the show,” did anybody else notice Taz was missing at commentary? Me either. Moving on…

What was on display was just alright. The Ultimate X triple-threat qualifying matches proved entertaining. Even more entertaining? Listening to me attempt to pronounce Trent Barreta’s real name after a few glasses of wine… (“no, I got it this time – MAR-Soup-E-uhl. Huh? A Kangaroo?”)

The Main Event Mafia at least delivered on their promise to fight Aces and Eights. Or, at least, they tried. Sting, Angle, Joe, Mangus and Rampage all puffed up their chests and called out Bully Ray’s rag-tag Son’s of Anarchy knockoffs. But surprisingly, In one of the most realistic creative decisions in the entire history of professional wrestling, Aces and Eights just refused. Like, “nah, we don’t want to fight. Nevermind.” So what did the Main Event Mafia do? Run backstage, and let professional wrestling’s only Olympic Gold Medalist get kidnapped in the back of a cheap pickup truck. That’ll teach ‘em!

 

 

Don’t worry, Angle was back in about 15 minutes with ZERO explanation of what went down. I’m guessing he just hopped out. I mean, pickup truck beds are wide open – Bully Ray didn’t think through that one very well, did he? Also, is anybody else bothered by the fact that TNA REGULARLY uses kidnapping as a plot device? This is a serious issue. Apparently, backstage security must absolutely suck at all TNA events. If you have an average of one kidnapping plot per year, effectively carried out on high-level athletes all IN THE SAME WRESTLING ORGANIZATION, isn’t it time to do something about it? Maybe look at the guy who walks around as a “lone wolf,” regularly wearing a hoodie and acting depressed. Oh, right, sorry Dixie, forgot about the cost-cutting measures…

Bully Ray and Sabin put together a fun show. Most fun was the unanticipated arrival of Aces and Eights, the Main Event Mafia, the Four Horsemen, Immortal, S.C.U.M., the J.O.B. squad, and the cast of Happy Days. I’m not sure why, but with a smaller wrestling ring and less space around the outside, TNA feels the need to crowd as many people out there as possible.

But in the end, Sabin finally won, and captured the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Mike Tenay said it was “poetic justice.” I think the hammer in Sabin’s hands probably had something to do with it.

If these past few weeks have taught me anything, it’s that I’m a lot more bitter towards TNA’s product than I realized. Either that, or this sarcasm is a normal reaction that every TNA fan has. I can only imagine how much more entertaining Impact Wrestling would be with the guys from Mystery Science Theater 3000 in the front row…

Agree? Disagree? Still pining for a Hulk Hogan title run in 2013? Just enjoy sarcasm? Let me know in the comments below, or follow me on Twitter @therealwiseman.

Video: Chris Sabin Defeats Bully Ray To Win TNA World Heavyweight Championship

In what has to be considered a big upset considering where both guys are at in their careers, Chris Sabin defeated Bully Ray to become the new TNA heavyweight champion.

It was a pretty good match even though Bully Ray dominated 99 percent of the matchup by working on Sabin’s injured knee.

Aces and Eights and The Main Event Mafia came out about halfway through the match. Near the end of the match, Anderson tried to give Bully Ray the hammer. Sting though came in and stopped that from happening with the two factions then brawling to the back.

Sabin then grabbed the hammer as ray tried a powerbomb, Sabin ray with the hammer and pinned Ray to become the new champion.

The Sabin era has begun.

Watch the video above as it shows the final moments of the match.

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TNA Head of Relations No Longer With The Company

The changes continue for TNA.

The company announced by press release that they were parting ways with Senior Vice President of Programming and Talent Relations Bruce Prichard.

Here is the statement released a short time ago by TNA:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 18, 2013) – TNA has parted ways with Senior Vice President of Programming and Talent Relations Bruce Prichard.

“TNA is headquartered in Nashville, and, as we move forward, our creative team and executive leadership will be here in Nashville with us,” said President of TNA Dixie Carter. “Bruce’s dedication and passion for TNA and IMPACT Wrestling will be missed, and we thank him for the incredible work he has done for us. We wish him all the very best.”

There were rumors in the middle of the week that Prichard was asked to restructure his deal and he denied that offer by TNA. This is likely the reason why both sides parted ways.

Prichard had been with the company since October 2011.

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Video: Mark Henry Announces He Signed A New Three Year Deal With WWE

For people that thought Mark Henry would be retiring after his bout with John Cena this past Sunday, guess again.

In an interview with Peter Rosenberg of Hot 97, Henry reveals that he signed a new three year deal with WWE following Extreme Rules.

In the one hour and ten minute interview Henry talks about some of these topics:

-Who he thinks is the one number one superstar in WWE
-Working with the Hart Family
-The Rock

Watch the video interview with Henry above.

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Dana White Shoots Down Nick Diaz Return To The UFC

If you were excited about Nick Diaz making his return to the UFC, you will have to wait a little longer.

UFC President Dana White told MMAFighting.com that he hasn’t spoken to the former Strikeforce welterweight champion or anyone in representing him.

That is contrary to an interview that Diaz trainer Cesar Gracie did with BJPenn.com stating that Diaz had been offered a return fight by White.

Diaz hasn’t fought since his unanimous decision at UFC 158 to welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. The native of Stockton, California stated after the fight that he was retiring from the sport.

BetweenTheRopes.com tried to reach out to Gracie for comment, but were unsuccessful at this current time.

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TNA Releases D-Lo Brown

In another shocking move, TNA has released agent D-Lo Brown.

TNA has released recently the likes of Brown, Matt Morgan, Tara, Drew Hankinson (formerly DOC in Aces and Eights) and Joey Ryan.

It was reported by ProWrestling.net that TNA was asking agents to accept per night deals, which Brown did accept, but was then subsequently released.

Brown took to Twitter last night and addressed the rumor he was released by the company:

 

Brown wrestled for TNA from 2003-2004 and then became an agent with the company starting in 2009.

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Floyd Mayweather Bests Anderson Silva and Jon Jones For 2013 ESPY

Boxing is still more popular than MMA in terms of who the fans think is the best fighter.

It announced last night at ESPN 2013 ESPY awards that boxing kingpin Floyd Mayweather won the award for best fighter. Mayweather beat out UFC stars Anderson Siva and Jon Jones, with fellow boxers Canelo Alvarez and Danny Garcia. The winner was determined a fan vote.

Mayweather fought only once in the one year time frame as he was in prison for three months. The pay-per-view king of combat sports returned in May and dominated Robert Guerrero in winning by unanimous decision. Mayweather returns on September 14 as he will be facing off with Alvarez, which has a chance of setting the most buys ever on pay-per-view, which is a record Mayweather holds with over 2.4 million buys in his fight with Oscar De La Hoya in 2007.

This was Mayweather’s fifth time he has won an ESPY for best fighter as he also won in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013.

Jones and Silva have been nominated three times for the award.

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CM Punk and Paul Heyman Bring Back Attitude

This past Monday night, wrestling found it’s spark again. Check out your favorite blog, or take a look at Twitter. CM Punk and Paul Heyman absolutely stole the show. [Read more...]

Chris Jericho Begins Latest Hiatus from WWE

We all knew this day would come … Chris Jericho is once again gone from the WWE.


This was part of his plan for a while with his current WWE contract expiring in July.  Now, he embarks on a 37-show tour with Fozzy which kicks off on August 3rd in Wacken, Germany and takes him through Europe and then back to North America before ending on October 10th in Vancouver, BC.

And for all the conspiracy theorists out there that think he could make a surprise appearance at SummerSlam, that won’t be happening since Fozzy has a concert that night in Reading, UK.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Jericho and WWE come together soon on a new deal that would include WrestleMania 30 especially since he has enjoyed his recent time with the company so much.

And if you haven’t see Fozzy in concert yet, I would recommend it.  The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla knows how to be the front man and puts on an awesome show.

Randy Orton Injured at Smackdown Taping, Orton Denies Being Hurt

At last night’s Smackdown taping in Providence, Rhode Island, Randy Orton was apparently injured during the main event match with Alberto Del Rio.  Well, at least WWE.com said he was injured in this report:

At Tuesday night’s SmackDown television taping, Mr. Money in the Bank Randy Orton was injured during his match against World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio. 
 
According to WWE medical personnel, the nine-time World Champion suffered a cervical strain and cervical neuropraxia.

That is a fancy way of saying that he suffered whiplash and typically isn’t an injury that would keep someone out of action too long.

But the story has already been updated to include this sentence:

Though his official medical status is still undetermined, being the competitor that he is, Orton tweeted the WWE Universe to let them know that he’s fine.

Orton disputed what the WWE website was saying that he was injured and tweeted this:

Then in another tweet, Orton added:

If you click on the link for the entire message, he says:

No I mean every other site that runs the story and adds their 2 cents.

It looks like Orton wasn’t too fond of the WWE website saying that he was hurt and he really isn’t fond of other wrestling websites putting in their own opinions or jumping to conclusions.  And I cannot blame him considering the spotlight he is under and the amount of speculation that occurs, especially in this business.

Arrest Warrant Issued for Ric Flair

flairAn arrest order has been issued by a judge in Meckleburg, North Carolina for WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair.

The Charlotte Observer is reporting that Flair (Richard Fliehr) was held in contempt earlier this month for not paying his estranged wife more than $32,000 in spousal support.

Flair was ordered to pay $4,000 a month to his latest former wife Jacqueline Beems. The money was intended to go for her car payment, health insurance and legal fees.

The court says that Flair owns Beems $32,352.51 and he will avoid jail time if he pays her that amount.
Flair did tell the Observer that he plans on paying his ex-wife by Wednesday.
“The reason I didn’t pay my ex-wife the 32 grand is because my son died and I was in the hospital for a month,” Flair said. “I was in the hospital for a month with a blood clot. I didn’t go to work for three months.”

Beems also has some recent issues with the law as she turned herself in to authorities on Tuesday and was charged with making a harassing phone call to Flair’s current girlfriend Wendy Kidder, better known to wrestling fans as Fifi the Maid.
Beems is accused of making a series of phone calls to Kidder, Flair’s girlfriend and was charged with the misdemeanor. She was released on a $500 unsecured bond.