Jeff Hardy vs. Kurt Angle
James Storm vs. Rob Van Dam
A.J. Styles vs. Samoa Joe
Superstars today on WWE.com:
Ryback vs. Johnny Curtis
Usos vs. Primo & Epico
The other lead story looks at the history of SummerSlam, looking at the shows, the memories, the business, the greatest matches, the most enduring stars, a look at every main event and business behind the scenes at the time. We look at Ultimate Warrior being fired at SummerSlam, why SummerSlam never returned to Wembley Stadium, the Hulk Hogan era vs. the Steve Austin era, the best and worst shows and how looking at matches changes with hindsight. We also look at what went wrong with Lex Luger, the move that nearly killed the boom period before it started, the biggest match business wise in history, special guests and the background of the Hogan vs. Michaels match.
The issue will be up on the site today if you are a web site member. We also have a new back issue on the site from 1995 just put up going back in time and talking about one of the worst WWF PPV shows, the 1995 King of the Ring and all the news from that time period.
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 now in its 29th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world. The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling and MMA industry, from bookers to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest names on camera and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries subscribe. Many have subscribed for 20 years or longer consecutively. They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world. Everywhere from Wall Street to the major offices to television networks in the U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business.
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We also look at the sale of WWE's Canadian broadcast outlet and what it means, secret blading, celebrities saying they are doing WrestleMania, Mysterio concussion note, more on Tyler Reks quitting and why, as well as what he's doing and his background. We also have updates on injuries to both The Rock and Steve Austin, as well as what both are up to. We have more on Austin at Mania this year, the arrest of Cameron, another WWE injury that has changed a lot of main events, WWE touring this week, TV skits, video game releases, and notes on the new TV show.
We also look at the latest WWE camp for prospective wrestlers and the latest on a number of new WWE signees and their background. We also have all the business notes from the past week and highlights from all the weekend shows.
We also look back at the origins of modern MMA and how it came from pro wrestling, and how the man who was part of its beginnings in 1993 is now a pro wrestling world champion with Masakatsu Funaki's Triple Crown win. We look at how Japanese MMA got started, his role, and why he's back in wrestling and won the title.
We also look at the business of this year's Money in the Bank compared with the previous two years, as well as a rundown of WWE's July business in a number of categories.
We also have an update on the Linda McMahon campaign for senate and a major turn over the past week.
We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and complete details on how every segment of Raw and Impact this past week did. We look at what segments gained and lost viewers
We also have results from all the major league arena events over the past week as well as a look at all the major television shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--More on a feud between members of one of the most famous wrestling families that wound up in court and story behind it
--Two world champions from different international groups have a singles match this week as a big show main event
--Major nostalgia show as 70s star continues retirement tour
--Notes on more All Japan and New Japan joint shows
--Tournament for newly created title
--For Japan MVP returns to the ring
--One of the best in-ring performers is injured and out the rest of the year
--Why the wrestling mentality may have made things worse in his instant
--New Japan stars come to the U.S.
--Alex Shelley returns to wrestling
--Ken Shamrock gets publicity he'd probably rather not get
--Why 80s star is in jail
--Update on TNA contracts
--Update on the Bound for Glory series
--Update on next TNA PPV
--Update on TNA's next U.K. tour
--Eric Bischoff has a new TV show
--TNA star opens restaurant
--More on Rousey vs. Kaufman and business
--Update on UFC advance ticket sales
--UFC star charged with battery
--George St. Pierre update
--Notes on U.K. vs. Australia Ultimate Fighter season
--What show UFC expects to draw well
--Lots of new UFC fights
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 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 $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for 4, $33 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to
For the rest of the world, rates are $15.50 for 4, $41 for 12, $78 for 24, $126 for 40 issues and $163 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 NEWS, NOTES AND LINKS
--Some notes on the new season of Ultimate Fighter in the U.S: The show will debut with a two-hour show on 9/14. Yes, we're back to Friday nights in a few weeks with Bellator, UFC and Smackdown. The first episode will be from 9-11 p.m. with subsequent weeks from 10-11 p.m. Unlike last season, this is not live. The finals will air live from Las Vegas on 12/15 with Roy Nelson vs. Shane Carwin in a battle of coaches as the main event. It will be an all welterweight season.
Those competing to get into the house in fights on 9/14 are:
Bristol Marunde, 30, Las Vegas (former IFL star)
Cameron Diffley, 27, Las Vegas (who actually coached on TUF a few seasons back)
Colton Smith, 25, Fort Hood (home is Ankeny, IA)
Cortez Coleman, 30, Hugo, OK
David Michaud 23, Pine Ridge, SD
Diego Bautista, 26, Lakewood, CA
Dom Waters, 23, Santa Rosa, CA
Eddy Ellis, 29, Olympia, WA
Frank Camacho, 23, Camp Springs MD
George Lockhart, 29, Atlanta
Igor Araujo, 31, Albuquerque (originally from Brazil)
James Chaney, 25, Klamath Falls, OR
Jason South, 34, West Jordan, UT
Jerel Clark, 23, Reno
Jesse Barrett, 26, Tempe, AZ
Joey Rivera, 32, Tucson
Jon Manley, 26, Ludlow, MA
Julian Lane, 25, Mansfiled, OH
Kevin Nowaczyk, 23, Chicago
Leo Kuntz, 28, Bismark ND
Lev Magen, 25, Las Vegas
Matt Secor, 25, South Glens Falls, NY
Max Griffin, 26, Sacramento
Michael Hill, 25, Kelowna, BC
Mike Ricci, 26, Montreal
Neil Magny, 24, Chicago
Nic Herron-Webb, 22, Anchorage, AK
Ricky Legere Jr., 26, Corona, CA
Saad Awad, 23, San Bernardino, CA
Sam Alvey, 26, Murrieta, CA (former Bellator fighter Smilin' Sam)
Tim Ruberg, 30, Harrison, OH
Zane Kamaka, 23, Klaianae, HI
--UFC's Ian McCall was released after serving 17 days in jail for no showing a court date and not completing a hard labor program a few years ago when after a drug violation. McCall is hoping to be able to fight by the end of this year. I guess UFC was fortunate here because if he had beaten Demetrious Johnson, he'd have ruined the planned flyweight title date in Toronto.
--Bray Wyatt (formerly Husky Harris) on Twitter said he would be returning at the end of September after being out with a torn pec.
--The debut of WWE Saturday Morning Slam on CW did a 0.7 rating, which was the highest rating of all the shows in CW's new kids block. A scary thing is it did more viewers than most episodes of last season's Ultimate Fighter.
--Hulk Hogan was on Fox and Friends as they were covering the Republican Convention. Hogan said he didn't like Obama's policies when it came to small businesses, noting his new "Hogan's Beach Shop" in Clearwater, FL, that opens next week. He also plugged Impact Wrestling, talking about TNA has a small business that's now in 100 counties and live on Spike TV at 8 p.m. tonight.
--The Cave in Canada (a TV station) was told to Shaw Communications which has rebranded the station H2, a History Channel. World of Hurt Wrestling with Roddy Piper, which was in the middle of a season being aired, was on The Cave. It's not on the schedule for the new station and there is no word of another station picking it up. (thanks to Mike Jenkinson, Steven Fernandes, Dan Lovranski and many others)
--A lot of people have noted that Todd Grisham and Jonathan Coachman have been co-anchoring ESPN SportsCenter together a few times over the past week. They've both been working for ESPN since each left WWE, but had not worked together on anything that I'm aware of. They have made some pro wrestling references and told some stories. A random note: at UFC 148, I ended up sitting next to Grisham, who was covering the event for ESPN.
--Shelton Benjamin was on Twitter doing a post about how he worked a tour of Nigeria booked by The Barbarian last year and got stiffed on pay. He told wrestlers when working in Africa to make sure and get all of your money up front. He claimed Barbarian has avoided his calls and hung up on him when he hears his voice.
--Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos was released by Strikeforce. He had requested his release because he wasn't being given enough fights and was getting outside offers. No jokes allowed about an ex-husband who is feuding with Ronda Rousey.
--Regarding the Nikkan Sports story of UFC planning four smaller events in Japan in 2013, UFC has talked about doing regular smaller events using local fighters in different parts of the world, so there is something to it. There is no timetable for this happening and it's one of many ideas talked about going forward.
--Here's an A.J. Lee interview
about video games, the Scooby Doo movie and her current role.
--Rogers Cable subscribers in Canada are getting The Fight Network for free from 8/31 to 9/30, so you'll be able to see the Cage Warriors live from Amman, Jordan on Saturday at 2 p.m. Eastern and the BAMMA 10 show from London on 9/15. (thanks to Devin Cutting)
--Caleb Konley celebrated a birthday today. Chris Colt was 50 when he passed away on this date in 1998. Ciclon Veloz Jr was 61 when he passed away on this date in 2001. Killer Kowalski passed away on this date four years ago at 81. (thanks to Georgia Wrestling History)
Who do you expect to win this fight?
Jon Jones 86.1%
Vitor Belfort 13.9%
What was the best of these SummerSlam matches?
Bret Hart vs Davey Boy Smith 1992 28.3%
Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect 1991 19.6%
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart 1994 10.4%
Shawn Michaels vs. HHH 2002 9.6%
Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon 1995 8.1%
Edge & Christian vs. Dudleys vs. Hardys 2000 7.6%
Steve Austin vs. Kurt Angle 2001 6.1%
Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar 2003 3.4%
Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage 1992 2.3%
HHH vs. The Rock 1998 2.1%
Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler 1993 2.0%
Shawn Michaels vs. Vader 1996 0.5%
What would be the most valuable broadcast venue for Cyborg vs. Rousey?
PPV only because Showtime would never allow it on FOX 36.3%
Do you think pro wrestling will be more or less popular with HHH & Stephanie in charge?
More popular than now, but not more than at the peak 12 year ago 37.0%
Less popular than now 36.4%
Same as now 26.6%
--Here's a story on Chris Jericho and Fozzy
playing the Uproar Festival in Washington, DC. They are on tour through the end of September around the country.
--Christy Hemme's band Hemme is playing at Bogart's in Cincinnati on Saturday night. (thanks to Brian Henke)
--Jerry Lawler and Shawn Daivari have been added to the Caribbean Wrestling Bash shows on 9/7 and 9/8 in Aruba at the Joe Laveist Ballpark. Roddy Piper has been pulled from the tour.
--Here's a poster for "The Barricade,
" a WWE film without a wrestler in a significant role in it.
--Here's a review of "The Day
," which came out in a few theaters yesterday and has been pushed on WWE television over the past week. This was a completed movie that WWE Films purchased marketing and distribution rights to after seeing it at a film festival in Toronto.
--Tuff N Uff: Future Stars of MMA has the Amateur Fighting Championships on 9/2 in Las Vegas at the South Point Arena at 5 p.m. Shane Carwin will make an appearance. The show will start with a free beer tasting and a live musical performance by The Garage Boys and the first fight is at 7:30 p.m.
--The Sydney Morning Herald gave "The Expendables 2," which includes Randy Couture in the all-star cast, a *** rating. (thanks to James Stanios)
--Crossfire Entertainment on Saturday night in McMinnville, TN at the Civic Center is headlined by Shane Williams vs. Matt Hardy and Chris Masters vs. Carlito.
--River City Wrestling on Saturday night in San Antonio at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church headlined by Hernandez vs. Michael Faith vs. Steve McEnroe.
--The Extreme Midget Wrestling Federation runs 9/1 and 9/2 at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas.
--CWE on 9/21 in Fisher Branch, Manitoba with a Battle Royal. 9/28 in Winnipeg at the Garden City Collegiate with Angelina Love and Dan Severn.