Also in this week's issue:
--Injury to top young star in Mexico and him not taking the time off recommended
--Notes on a tourney for the top mini in CMLL
--Latest from Arena Mexico this past week
--What local star was responsible for a legitimate sellout in Puebla
--A court case over the rights to one of the most valuable wrestling names in the world
--AAA star leaves promotion
--A look at Dragon Gate USA's weekend shows in New York
--All Japan bringing back the Open championship tournament and a look back at one of the greatest tournaments in pro wrestling history as far as top stars involved.
--Lots of new title matches
--A look at the ending of NOAH's junior heavyweight tag team tournament and upcoming title bouts
--More on the G-1 Climax series
--New Japan doing a tryout camp and what they are looking for
--New Japan stars coming to the U.S.
--An upcoming major pro wrestling documentary about to be released
--Update on New Jack
--A man threatening to kill a former WWF star
--Carlos Colon vs. Invader program continues
--Colon involved in a major news story in Puerto Rico
--Wrestler spending a month overseas doing comedy
--Update on Matt Morgan
--Notes regarding ROH tag title change
--New ROH TV markets expected
--What happened with the Kevin Steen DVD
--Major change in ROH's front office
--Update on status of a number of ROH wrestlers
--A look at the most recent ROH TV tapings
--Dixie Carter talks TNA's latest issues
--TNA and developmental
--Why Keiji Muto was in Nashville
--Taelor Hendrix again talks leaving TNA
--Update on Taryn Terrell
--Notes on next TNA PPV
--A look at TNA's weekend house shows
--More business notes on Silva vs. Weidman
--UFC's attempt to get into a foreign market they are strong on TV in and why it's being held up
--A look at this week's UFC show
--Dana White on Frank Shamrock in the UFC Hall of Fame
--New season of Ultimate Fighter notes
--New MMA rules being talked about
--Rousey and the movie and training for her next fight
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Major Bellator contract news
--Major Bellator firings
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue.
Our most requested issues in our history are:
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)
*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)
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
*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)
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)
*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)
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the history of TNA)
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings, Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and why it didn't click)
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bigelow)
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
For the United States, it is $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to
For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 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.
Thursday's News Update
--Bellator numbers for last night were the fight card did 679,000 viewers and Fight Master did 629,000. So that's what the best card they have will do without a TNA lead-in. At least Fight Master with the fight lead-in was way up from recent weeks.
--The Atlantis vs. Ultimo Guerrero mask vs. mask direct match has been changed. CMLL announced its big show of the year on 9/13 at Arena Mexico to be Atlantis & Ultimo Guerrero as a tag team faces La Sombra & Volador Jr., who are also enemies. That probably explains Sombra not taking any time off for his injury. In a weird thing that makes no sense, the winning team will then have to wrestle each other in a singles match, the loser loses his mask. It would make more sense for the losing team to have to wrestle each other. All four were there for a contract signing at a press conference earlier today.
--They also announced there would be a three-way with Rush vs. Negro Casas vs. Shocker with the loser losing his hair. Rush will first wrestle Shocker in a singles match. The loser of that match has to face Casas in a hair vs. hair match. It will be in September. There will also at some point this year be a Blue Panther vs. Averno hair vs. hair match.
--CMLL's annual Tournament of Champions Cup will be 8/30 to 9/13. All the champions will be in, which means Hiroshi Tanahashi & Jushin Liger, who are the CMLL tag team champions. They are pushing Tanahashi being there as a big part of it. (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims)
--A note from last night's radio show when talking about Cory Maclin and the Memphis tapes he sold to Highspots, we're told that they were not the original tapes but second or third generation dubs. There are originals out there. MMA promoter Jeff Osborne had some of them. One friend of ours noted that they bought one of the tapes expecting first generation quality on the DVD, and it was worse then the 20 plus year old videotape of the same stuff that they already owned.
--Today's birthdays include Jimmy Golden/Bunkhouse Buck/Jack Swagger Sr. turning 63, Devon of TNA turning 41 and WWE ref Mike Chioda turning 47.
--TNA advance tonight was not good, maybe the weakest so far. We're looking for reports of the second show from Wichita Falls.
--Mystery man coming soon. No point in speculating. I figure all clues will lead to swerves, similar to last night.
--Dwayne Johnson was interviewed on the set of Hercules by AP and when asked if he would wrestle again in WWE, he didn't give an answer. "I'd like to leave it open. But if I never wrestle again, I'd be very content with that. Winning or losing never really mattered to me. The whole idea was to put on a great match. Got injured in that match. Still was able to walk out on my own, which I was more happy about. I don't know. We'll see."'
--The Mid Atlantic Fan Fest starts tonight at the University Place Hilton in Charlotte. Mike Mooneyham is doing a Q&A with Magnum T.A. and Tully Blanchard and there will also be a long interview with Jim Cornette. Tomorrow night will be the Hall of Heroes induction ceremony with Ricky Morton, Robert Gibson, Cornette, Dennis Condrey, Bobby Eaton, Magnum T.A., Les Thatcher, Danny Miller and Lars Anderson. They will also premier the new documentary on Jim Crockett Promotions tomorrow night. Saturday will be a live wrestling show and a Jim Mitchell karaoke show. Sunday has another show featuring Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin and Cedric Alexander & Caleb Konley vs. Eddie Edwards & Roderick Strong.
--We're looking for reports on the Fan Fast, the Q&As, documentary etc.
--Apparently more than 10 million people in China watched today's G-1 via pirate streaming via PSP and Sopcast. At least that's what is being reported in Japan. Sounds kind of hard to believe.
DID YOU WATCH BELLATOR LAST NIGHT?
No, not an MMA fan 29.8%
Yes, usually watch Bellator 27.3%
I'm an MMA fan but won't watch anything but UFC 20.7%
Usually don't watch Bellator, did watch because it was a strong card 15.3%
Would have watched but it was a bad night 7.0%
WHAT IS YOU REACTION TO SATURDAY'S UFC RATING?
About what I expected 43.6%
It was a flop 20.0%
It was average 17.6%
It was a success based on the demos 10.9%
Worse than I expected 4.8%
Better than I expected 3.0%
WHICH OF THESE SHOWS THIS COMING WEEK WILL HAVE THE MOST VIEWERS?
Total Divas 41.1%
UFC prelims on FX 28.3%
Main event 8.2%
WILL SUMMERSLAM BEAT LAST YEAR'S NUMBER?
REGARDING G-1 CLIMAX, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT BUYING?
Never guy iPPVs 36.0%
Would have bought 2-3 shows, but not spending $150 29.1%
Would have bought the finals, but now not getting it 17.2%
Won't buy Japanese wrestling 7.2%
I was going to buy every show anyway, so the discount makes it worth it 6.9%
Am buying the whole package, but would have rather had the choice to buy the shows I wanted 3.6%
--WCK Muay Thai kickboxing on 8/24 in Temecula, CA at the Pechanga Resort and Casino. The show will air on FSN PrimeTicket and FSN San Diego. Miriam Nakamoto comes from Invicta to face Aleide Lawant of Holland in the main event.
--I heard from Charlie Thesz (Lou's widow) today and she said how wonderful it was hearing from Observer readers who were interested in the memorabilia that Lou Thesz had kept. Again, if anyone is interested in items from Lou's personal collection, trophies, photos, magazine articles etc. you can go contact her at
--The Las Vegas Review Journal had a story on former pro wrestler Rico Costantino. He was an enforcement officer for the Las Vegas Taxicab authority who was fired after a his superiors saw a video of him doing a pro wrestling match while he was on light duty for a non-work related injury. He sued and got his job back with full back pay and benefits. Costantino suffered a serious injury playing beach volleyball last summer. He was on light duty in November when he appeared on a Future Stars of Wrestling show in Las Vegas. He was fired, charged with being dishonest about his condition. Costantino said the match was choreographed and he was using it as a way to help rehab his knee and also said he was not paid for the match. He said that he never hid that he was doing a wrestling match. He wasn't fired until April, and he filed an appeal.
--TNA announced a deal with SONY SIX in India. They will air Impact every week, as well as Xplosion, TNA's Greatest Matches and 12 PPV shows.
--Countdown to UFC 163 airs at 9 p.m. tonight on Fuel. Jose Aldo vs. Mark Hominick airs at 10 p.m.
--UFC weigh-ins are 3 p.m. Eastern time and Noon Pacific tomorrow.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1963 - Eddie Graham beat Hiro Matsuda to win the Southern title in Jacksonville
1974 - Bulldog Bob Brown beat Harley Race in Kansas City for the Central States title
1982 - Harley Race beat Jumbo Tsuruta in Tokyo to win the United National title
1982 - Riki Choshu & Gran Hamada beat Canek & Babe Face in Mexico City to win the UWA tag titles
1990 - Atlantis beat Dandy in Acapulco to win the NWA middleweight title
1994 - Espectrito beat Mascarita Sagrada in Madero to win the AAA minis title
1995 - David Taylor beat Marty Jones in Croydon to win the ASP IC title
1995 - Mal Sanders beat Danny Collins to win the European middleweight title
--Main Event Wrestling on 8/10 in Gallatin, TN has a benefit show for Morgan Hutcherson, who is battling brain cancer. The show will be at the VFW Hall in Gallatin.
--Yesterday's mX newspaper in Sydney has a story on Anthony Perosh, who faces Vinny Magalhaes in his next UFC fight (thanks to James Stanios)
--The Voice vs. Steve Austin (worth going out of your way to see) will be replayed on 8/9 at 11 p.m. and 8/23 at 8 p.m. on AXS.
--For last week on cable, USA was No. 2 again with 2.44 million viewers on average in prime time. Disney was No. 1 at 2.73 million. FX was No. 12 at 1.23 million. Syfy was No. 15 at 1.11 million. Spike was No. 20 at 923,000, which means Bellator Fight Master last week did less than half the average. The reruns of Cops have really boosted the station. E isn't even top 25, so Total Divas was way above its weekly average.
--The three hours of Raw last week were No. 4, 6 and 7. In 18-49, two of the hours were No. 3 and No. 6 (second and third hours).
--My old friend Joel Watts returns to pro wrestling on Saturday night. He's doing his first ever role, as a referee for Traditional Championshp Wrestling. Joel Watts refereed as Joel Armstrong. He later announced for Mid South but was best known for his production work, as one of the earliest guys doing pro wrestling videos. After Mid South closed, he worked for WWF behind the scenes for a while. He's now working for The Outdoor Channel as Joel Armstrong (Bill Watts adopted him, his birth last name was Armstrong). He asked to use the Joel Watts name for the show Saturday and is back living in Tulsa.
--The Iron Sheik kickstarter campaign has ten days left as far as doing a documentary on him.
--WWE is teasing something big from its movie studio.
--CZW on 8/10 in a doubleheader with WSU at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ with a 4 p.m. women's show and 7:30 p.m. men's show.
--Pat Laprade is looking for hi-res photos of Rick Martel & Tito Santana as a tag team, particularly while wearing the WWF tag team title belts that aren't WWE copyright photos. He can be e-mailed at
--Grown Ups 2 opens in Australia on 9/19 (thanks to James Stanios)
--Kyle Davidson from Australia wanted to make sure to clear up that it was not the South African wrestler Blacksmith (Trevor Van Der Westhuizen) who attacked Randy Orton. Apparently some have claimed it.
--The guy who did the attacking just posted a video challenging Randy Orton. Here's how you'll know it's real. If WWE brings him in to further this, it was an angle. If they ignore it, then it wasn't an angle. If they push it on TV Monday, then it was an angle.
--BANG tomorrow night in Ocala, FL at 7 p.m. featuring Dory Funk Jr. & Johnny Magnum & Quinton Hitchcock & Jessica Hill vs. Amazing Kong & Romero Youngblood & Ryan Passmore and a mystery partner. Kong will also work a four-way for their women's title.
--GLORY has announced a live show on Spike on 10/12 from the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, FL with a four-man tournament for a heavyweight championship. Their second show on Spike will be 1/1/9 from the Theater in Madison Square Garden with a lightweight tournament for the world championship. They also run 9/26 on CBS Sports from Ontario, CA featuring a middleweight world championship tournament at the Citizens Bank Arena.
--Angelina Love vs. Alissa Flash plus Hernandez vs. Rob Love appear on 8/10 in San Antonio at the Aztec Indoor Soccer Arena for River City Wrestling.
--An interview with Sting about bodybuilding is currently on the Muscle & Fitness web site.
--Lisa Varon has noted an ROH viewing party every Tuesday night at her Squared Circle restaurant in Chicago. It will kick off this coming Tuesday with the ROH vs. SCUM cage match. For more info go to http://thesquaredcircle.biz/
--A G-1 storyline is that KENTA is teaching Katsuyori Shibata the GTS to use as his finisher the rest of the tournament.