By Dave Meltzer
We're taking polls today on Thursday's G-1 Climax show in Hamamatsu, Friday's show at Korakuen Hall, today's show in Osaka and tomorrow's show in Nagoya with a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
We're looking for reports on today's WWE shows in San Angelo, TX and San Antonio as well as last night's show in Lubbock.
NBC will be airing the annual WrestleMania special, built around the interview segment with Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan and The Rock, as well as Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar and John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt.
Monday in Nagoya for G-1 at 2:30 a.m. Pacific and 5:30 a.m. Eastern
Tomoaki Honma vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
Lance Archer vs. Yujiro Takahashi
Yuji Nagata vs. Doc Gallows
Togi Makabe vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Tetsuya Naito vs. Minoru Suzuki
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Bad Luck Fale
Satoshi Kojima vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
A.J. Styles vs. Karl Anderson
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shelton Benjamin
Kazuchika Okada vs. Hirooki Goto
Raw is Monday night in Austin, TX. Neither John Cena nor Brock Lesnar are advertised to be there live.
Tuesday will be Dragon Gate's Scandal Gate 14 show from Korakuen Hall on iPPV at 5:30 a.m. Eastern and 2:30 a.m. Pacific
Yamato & Punch Tominaga vs. Akira Tozawa & Shingo Takagi
T-Hawk & Eita vs. Masato Yoshino & Uhaa Nation
BxB Hulk vs. Naruki Doi for the Open the Dream Gate title
Tuesday is Main Event and Smackdown taped in Laredo, TX.
Tuesday is also the first of three nights of TNA Impact tapings at the Manhattan Center in New York.
A look at the situation with TNA and the television landscape for pro wrestling is the lead story in the current issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The issue also has updates on Brock Lesnar, full coverage of G-1 and UFC, and the Daniel Bryan home break-in.
You can also order the print Observer right now and get it delivered to your door via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to
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The lead story updates the TNA situation with Spike TV, looking at how things are different for TNA than when Spike canceled WWE, various theories of what this is all about as well as the actual reasons that led to the situation being what it is.
We look at TNA's history in these types of situations, TNA negotiations, the key reasons things got to where they did, Vince Russo, Bobby Lashley, TNA reactions, what TNA loss may have hurt them the most in this situation, the television industry and current views on the value of pro wrestling, why what happened to WWE over the past year doesn't bode well for TNA, can TNA get television and why that isn't enough, and the plight of the talent.
We also look at the situation with Bryan Danielson, the burglary, his injuries, his subduing one of the men who broke in and his reactions to everything.
We've also got an update on SummerSlam, more on Sting at Comic Con, when Sting will likely meet Vince McMahon for the first time, when Sting will next appear on conjunction with WWE, who Sting wants to face if he signs, WrestleMania paychecks, Bryan talks KENTA, WWE sued over statements made regarding TV talks, WWE's TV future when it comes to revenue, Batista's talk of a return, the story behind the original Batista vs. HHH program, and Batista's goals.
We also look at Brock Lesnar's next appearances and fall schedule, Hulk Hogan talks WrestleMania and his health, why Sheamus has been off TV, Signing of Prince Devitt, and Devitt's background in Japan.
We also look at a new WWE hire, Dean Ambrose interview, who he goes to for advice and more. We update the WWE stock, look at an investment analysts updated predictions on the network and long-term, as well as this week's new network promotional idea. We also have more on developmental, a rundown of the weekend house shows and the business notes for the past week.
We've also got an update on the G-1 Climax tournament with the major stories, how this year differs from last year, the standings, every match remaining, the roles everyone is playing, business on the tour and match-by-match coverage for every show, along with star ratings and poll results.
We also look at UFC's show on FOX from the weekend, including what it showed about ratings, the Robbie Lawler vs. Matt Brown back story, all the ratings info and what it means, the value of FOX vs. FS 1 clearly shown, Lawler vs. Hendricks, the rise of Anthony Johnson and Dennis Bermudez and other stories related to the show. We've also got match-by-match coverage, poll results and how much all the fights earned.
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 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.
We also have our regular features such as the most complete look at ratings, plus results of the major house show events each week in pro wrestling and MMA, and complete inside rundowns of all the TV shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--Update on the return of the new Mistico
--A look at CMLL's major show of the summer
--The 50th anniversary of the debut of Mil Mascaras
--What first was part of that show
--Update on Busca en un Idolo winner Cavernario Barbaro
--Notes on this week's AAA TV tapings
--What American has left AAA and why
--What foreign stars came to AAA this week
--A look at the Dragon Gate wrestlers touring the U.K. and Germany
--A look at the wXw show
--A look at upcoming Dragon Gate title matches
--New Triple Crown winner is in unique company
--Several names return to All Japan next month
--Rundown of All Japan's major show for the month including Dragon Gate crossover
--Return of Takeshi Morishima
--Update on the NOAH junior heavyweight tag team tournament
--A look at NOAH's next major show
--New Japan's November PPV show
--A look at the Jesse Ventura case
--What were the keys to the case
--PWG's 11th anniversary show
--Farewell to PWG of Kevin Steen
--Update on Jeff Jarrett's promotion
--Two former pro wrestlers to be inducted into U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling Hall of Fame
--New ROH signings
--A look at ROH's weekend show
--Daniels & Kazarian talk leaving TNA
--Claire Lynch angle
--What happened with Alexander Gustafsson
--Thoughts on Jones vs. Cormier
--Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz and how big it will be
--Updated UFC box office numbers
--Joe Riggs situation
--More on wrestler that both WWE and UFC were after
--Gold medalists in UFC
--Lots of new UFC fights signed and others being talked about
--Why Faber vs. Kid Yamamoto isn't happening
--Crazy upcoming UFC schedule
--UFC uniform updates
--UFC Latin America notes
--Who Rashad Evans won't fight
--Diego Sanchez talks old feud with Nick Diaz
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.
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)a
*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 history)
*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.
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., $20 for shipping costs to Canada and $25 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
SUNDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio, talking G-1, WWE, and taking e-mail questions to
--Guardians of the Galaxy is estimated to do $94 million this weekend, which makes it the biggest first weekend in the history of August and 32nd biggest opening weekend of all-time. It has already topped $160 million worldwide.
--Hercules, in its second week out, is estimated at doing $10.7 million this week, No. 4 on the charts. Its worldwide gross is at $108 million. Hercules was No. 1 this weekend in Australia at $4.5 million. Robert Maillet, who was Kurrgan, is in the movie besides Dwayne Johnson starring in it.
--The local police and fire department had to turn away fans at today's New Japan show in Osaka.
--Anderson Silva sent Paul George a message saying, "I had the same injury, champ. I know what you are going through right now, but just stay calm and strong. You'll be back soon."
--Dragon Gate has added iPPV shows on 8/5 and 8/17.
--Updated G-1 standings as of today
Hiroshi Tanahashi 5-2
Shinsuke Nakamura 5-2
Katsuyori Shibata 5-2
Yuji Nagata 4-3
Shelton Benjamin 4-3
Bad Luck Fale 4-3
Tomohiro Ishii 4-4
Satoshi Kojima 4-4
Davey Boy Smith Jr. 3-4
Doc Gallows 2-5
Tomoaki Honma 0-7
A.J. Styles 5-2
Kazuchika Okada 5-2
Tetsuya Naito 4-3
Hiroyoshi Tenzan 4-4
Hirooki Goto 4-4
Minoru Suzuki 4-3
Togi Makabe 3-4
Karl Anderson 3-4
Lance Archer 3-4
Toru Yano 3-5
Yujiro Takahashi 2-5
--The last two nights were not just two of the best shows of the year, but they're probably two of the five best shows I've ever seen. This is the greatest tournament in pro wrestling history and it's not even a close call. Last years' was the best I'd ever seen and this year blows away last year.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1964 - Peter Maivia beat Steve Rickard in Auckland to win the New Zealand heavyweight title
1968 - Mario Milano beat Baron Mikel Scicluna in Melbourne to win the IWA title
1985 - At Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Lars Anderson beat Badnews Allen to win the Polynesian title and Rocky & Ricky Johnson beat The Dirty White Boys to win the Polynesian tag team titles. The main event saw Ric Flair go to a no contest with Siva Afi before one of the largest wrestling crowds ever in Hawaii.
1987 - Shane Douglas beat Eddie Gilbert to win the UWF TV title in Morgan City, LA
1996 - The Gangstas won the ECW tag titles in a four-way over The Eliminators, The Bruise Brothers and the Samoan Gangsta Party
1997 - Kensuke Sasaki beat Hiroyoshi Tenzan in the finals to win the G-1 Climax tournament
1998 - Mile Zrno & Franz Schumann beat Fit Finlay & Marty Jones in Graz to win the CWA tag titles
2012 - Atlantis & Diamante Azul beat Dragon Rojo Jr. & Ultimo Guerrero in Mexico City to win the CMLL tag titles
--Jersey Championship Wrestling announced Jesus DeLeon and Rich Swann in its J-Cup tournament on 11/14 in Manville, NJ.
--Pro Wrestling Syndicate on 10/31 in Rahway, NJ featuring former NBA star Larry Johnson, Sitcom star Sasha Mitchell from Step by Step, Booker T, Stevie Ray, DDP and Abyss.
--Their 9/20 show in Rahway has Ricky Steamboat as commissioner, Lance Storm & Justin Credible reunite the Impact Players, plus Brian Myers (Curt Hawkins), Homicide, Monstrous BC (Brodus Clay), Road Warrior Animal, SoCal Val, Bobby Lashley, Ezekiel Jackson, New Jack, Jimmy Snuka, Tommy Dreamer, Bryan Clark, Earl Hebner and Glacier.
--Mick Foley will be signing autographs and meeting fans in Stockton on 8/10 at the Comic Con. Jake Roberts and Jim Duggan will be at the Stockton Comic Con on Saturday and Sunday. Foley will do a one man show at the Bob Hope Theater in Stockton on 8/10 at 7:30 p.m.
--Pro Wrestling Bushido on 8/9 and 8/10 has 2 p.m. shows at the Stockton Comic Con. Shelly Martinez and Adam Thornstowe are on the Saturday show and Joey Ryan, Candice LaRae and Christina Von Eerie are on the Sunday show.
--NWA Southern All-Star Wrestling on Friday night in Millersville, TN: LBK b Ali Shabazz, Nore Havoc & Tim Renesto b Nick Iggy & Kerry Awful, Drew Haskins b Shawn Hoodrich, Arrick Andrews b Michael Steel, Jocephus Brody b Blue Tiger, Jeremiah Plunkett b Shawn Hoodrich, Hammerjack b Shawn Schultz-COR, Cody & Kevin Weatherby b John Wayne Murdoch & Josh Crow (thanks to Lekisha Oliver)
--Dynamo Pro Wrestling from last night in Fenton, MO: Paco Gonzalez NC Danny Adams, Jon Webb b Spi-Ral, Brandon Aarons b Brandon Gallagher, Mike Outlaw b Jack Gamble, D'Arcy Dixon NC Lucy Mendez, Jake Dirden b Elvis Aliaga, Ricky Cruz & Brandon Espinosa won four-awy over Rocket Mapache & Jackal, Michael Magnuson & David DeLorean and Shorty Biggs & Outtkas (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
--Lucha Xtreme TV from last night in Fresno: Mike Rayne b Johnny Dynamo, JR Kratos b D-Unit, Big Dogg & Skitzo b Super Tiger & Al Azar. Two upcoming shows are 8/14 in Chachanski Stadium after the Fresno Grizzlies baseball game, and 8/30 in the Hanford Civic Center (thanks to Jon Southerland).
--Hoosier Pro Wrestling from last night in Columbus, IN before 235 fans: Lylah Lodge & Stompin Steve b Crazy Mary & Mad Man Pondo, 8 Bit Punk d Scarecrow & Brian Dewey, Troy Van Zant b Dash Venture, Ricky Ruckus b Cooter & Wicked Clown in a loser leaves town for 90 days match when Cooter lost and has to leave, Drax O'Brien b Lightning Bolt-DQ in a loser leaves town for 90 days match, Donny Idol b Tom Van Zant, JKO DCOR TJ Kemp. Next show is 9/6
--Josh Reddick of the Oakland A's was acting commissioner at last night's show in Alameda, CA, which drew 335 fans, promoted by Icebox, the former Roller Games star. Boyce LeGrande b T-Lo, Carlito b Jardi Frantz, Super Diablo b Dic Grimes, Famous B b Brian Kendrick, Boogeyman b Ponce Prince, Brutus Beefcake b Hit Squad #1 (Boyce LeGrande), Bobby Lashley b Hit Squad #2 (Famous B)
--UPW Headlocks and Home Runs from last night in Perry, NY: Rhino b Cloudy, Flex Express b Colin Delaney & Pepper Parks, Balls Mahoney b Nick Ando, Marc Hauss b Brian Meyers (Curt Hawkins), Gabreal Saint b Shark Boy, Scott Steiner b Ron Falco, Mattick won Rumble, Rochester Wrecking Crew b Danny Doring & Tommy Dreamer in a cage match
--Pro Wrestling Eclipse on 8/10 at 2 p.m. at the Oshawa Legion in Oshawa, ONT