Also in this week's issue:
--Foreign pro wrestling group claims they are running a 50,000 seat stadium and will be loaded up to get ready
--How a different group was planning on dong the match his year
--Longtime Mexican star announces retirement
--Pro wrestling star tabbed for international version of Survivor
--Dragon Gate planning its annual King of Cage tournament, as well as a second ticket
--Full-time Canadian pro wrestling stars this weekend
--Seiya Sanada getting big matches
--Ryo Saito essentially in the same position
--Kenta Kobashi retirement show notes
--What legend KENTA wants to defend his GHC title against
--Wrestling to return to one of his most famous locations
--Notes on the next four weeks of ROH television
--Dixie Carter looks at plans for early next year
--King Mo in pro wrestling
--TNA house show notes
--Wrestler who doesn't exist wins poll for a title shot
--Notes on UFC's new television deal in the U.K.
--When the deal goes into effect
--What will Wednesday on FS 1 look like
--Early PPV numbers for UFC 159
--Thoughts on what the numbers say
--How UFC PPV business is doing so far this year
--What to look out for on the July UFC show
--What's behind Anderson Silva's fine
--Lots of UFC cuts
--Lots of Ronda Rousey notes
--Early Mayweather vs. Guerrero PPV numbers and the fallout form it
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.
Saturday's News Update
--With no PPV shows this weekend, our weekend Wrestling Observer radio will be tomorrow night.
--At today's Kenta Kobashi retirement show, they held the retirement ceremony after the third match. Among those there were Takeshi Rikio, Toshiaki Kawada (a surprise), Sen. Hiroshi Hase, former Prime Minster Yoshihiko Noda, Masahiro Chono, Masa Fuchi, Akira Taue, Mitsuo Momota and a member of Japanese superstar rock band AKB48. They also had a statement from John Laurinaitis (who was Kobashi's tag team partner in the 90s on-and-off for years) and Stan Hansen. Lots of people were crying during the ceremony and after the show. The reports on the show were great to fantastic, saying it was exactly what everyone wanted it to be, a legend looking great in his final match. Everyone was in particular raving about exchanges with Kensuke Sasaki and Go Shiozaki in the main event.
As for the show, the undercard matches were there to not outshine the main event, which came off excellent in the building. As noted earlier every location (Budokan Hall and movie theaters around the city) in Tokyo was sold out and people who decided to go to the theaters that day were out of luck as no tickets were available in the entire city. I haven't heard anything about movie theaters outside of Tokyo other than a report from Yokohama was they sold out the theater as well.
--Got this regarding yesterday's interview with Peter Birkholz was someone who used to work in Mid South Wrestling:
"Personally, I love Paul (Boesch). Greatest promoter I ever worked for. His wife was awesome. She made me hand knitted socks for Christmas. I doubt Linda McMahon or any promoter's wife would take the time to make talent hand knitted gifts. Morale was always high when we worked for Paul, since we weren't screamed at in comparison to (Bill) Watts. This atmosphere didn't make the talent slack off, since we worked hard, since we considered Paul to be an uncle-type relationship and we didn't want to disappoint him."
--HHH was working on a new DVD about his career. He had said this will be unlike any of his previous ones.
--Dean Ambrose suffered an eye injury in Tuesday's Smackdown match with Daniel Bryan, but it was not serious and he was wrestling last night in Shreveport..
--Tickets for the next FOX special on 7/27 in Seattle with Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga for the flyweight title, Rory MacDonald vs. Jake Ellenberger, Robbie Lawler vs. Tarec Saffiedine and Miesha Tate vs. Liz Carmouche go on sale Wednesday to Fight Club members and Friday to the public at Ticketmaster. Tickets are from $250 down to $50. Seattle has sold out every show to date, and Johnson and Tate are local, as is Michael Chiesa and Trevor Smith on the undercard. Each sellout becomes harder and given the main event, they have to rely on the brand as the draw.
--Former ROH and TNA wrestler Jimmy Rave wrote on Twitter earlier this week that he had suffered a seizure. "So...Just had my first ever seizure. Surprisingly, not a fun experience."
--L.A. Park said earlier this week that if tonight's show at Juan de la Barrera Gym in Mexico City doesn't sell out, he's not doing a mask vs. mask match later this year with Dr. Wagner Jr. He said if a straight singles match isn't selling out a smaller building, he doesn't have confidence they can fill the 50,000 seat bullring for the rematch.
--James Storm wrote this morning regarding his injuries that kept him from wrestling last night: "Doc says I have a torn lower ab and ligament damage. Go back Wednesday for MRI to check for hernia." That's the painful stuff.
--Results from last night's WWE show in Shreveport
Sin Cara & Bo Dallas & Adrian Neville b Titus O'Neil & Darren Young & Michael McGillicutty
Kaitlyn b Tamina Snuka
Dean Amborse b R-Truth
Kane & Daniel Bryan b Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns-DQ
Kofi Kingston b Antonio Cesaro
Bray Wyatt b Zack Ryder
John Cena & Sheamus b Ryback & Mark Henry
--Saturday Morning Slam is not airing next week. So today's show may have been the last episode until the fall.
--Michael Cole has agreed to attempt to climb Mt Whitney (14,505 feet), the highest mountain in the continental U.S., with broadcast partner John Layfield in August. Mountain climbing is one of the underrated difficult sports there is.
--Chris Jericho when asked about taking a vacation, said
"What's the vacation from? A vacation from what I love to do every day!" I don't like holidays too much. My mind moves too fast if I have more than one or two days off. I do what I love, so I don't need a break. Because I love what I do so much."
--Cartoon Network's adult swim is debuting a Mike Tyson carton called Mike Tyson's mysteries. Tyson appears as himself looking to solve mysteries with a talking pigeon.
--Valentijn Overeem suffered a rib injury this week that puts him out of the 5/24 show in Coral Gables, FL on AXS where he was to face former Strikeforce fighter Mike Kyle. Kyle will instead face recent Bellator fighter Travis Wiuff. The show is more notable because transgender fighter Fallon Fox face Allanna Jones.
--Pain & Gain was No. 3 at the box office last night with a Friday night only take of $1.3 million. No numbers are available for "No One Lives."
--On Fuel tonight, the Tito Ortiz special from Tuesday is replayed at 6:30 p.m,., Best of Pride at 8 p.m., Chael Sonnen vs. Nate Marquardt at 9 p.m. and UFC 144 (Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar) is at 10 p.m.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1944 - Frankie Talaber beat the Great Mephisto in Columbus, OH to win the MWA world jr. heavyweight title. I think that's the same guy who was still a major star in the 70s and managed into the 80s. Amazing the longevity he had in the ring. He was a super hot heel here in around 1972, drawing big, and then got fired for slapping around Roy Shire.
1954 - Leo Nomellini & Rocky Brown beat Mike & Ben Sharpe in San Francisco to win the world tag team titles
1972 - The Fargo Brothers, this time beat Don & John (who later became Greg Valentine) beat Domenic DeNucci & Tony Parisi to win the NWF world tag team titles in Cleveland
1976 - The Masked Executioners (Killer Kowalski & John Studd) beat Louis Cerdan & Tony Parisi in Philadelphia to win the WWWF tag team titles
1976 - Killer Karl Kox & Bruiser Bob Sweetan beat Ted DiBiase & Dick Murdoch to win the U.S. tag team titles in Shreveport
1976 - Seiji Sakaguchi beat Pedro Morales in Tokyo to win the New Japan World League tournament
1978 - Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta beat Kintaro Oki & Kim Duk to win the International tag team titles
1980 - The Iron Sheik beat Jim Brunzell in Charlotte to win the Mid Atlantic heavyweight title
1981 - Ernie Ladd beat Kerry Von Erich in Fort Worth to win the American heavyweight title
1987 - Jeff Jarrett beat Moondog Spot to win the Mid American title and Mark Starr & Billy Travis beat Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka to win the CWA tag titles in Memphis
1991 - Brad Armstrong beat Ricky Santana in Guaynabo, PR to win the WWC jr. heavyweight title
1995 - Mascara Ano 2000 beat Perro Aguayo (Sr.) to win the AAA world heavyweight title
1996 - Shane Douglas beat 2 Cold Scorpio to win the ECW TV title in Philadelphia
2003 - Taiji Ishimori beat Super Crazy in Mexico City to win the UWA welterweight title
WHICH OF THESE MODERN STARS WAS BEST AT PLAYING WORLD CHAMPION?
Bret Hart 27.0%
Steve Austin 17.0%
C.M. Punk 13.4%
Kenta Kobashi 8.4%
The Rock 8.4%
Hiroshi Tanahashi 5.5%
Bryan Danielson 3.9%
Shawn Michaels 3.7%
John Cena 3.4%
Samoa Joe 2.4%
Bobby Roode 1.8%
WHO WAS THE ALL-TIME BEST AT PLAYING WORLD CHAMPION?
Ric Flair 60.2%
Lou Thesz 9.9%
Bruno Sammartino 8.9%
Hulk Hogan 8.1%
Nick Bockwinkel 4.2%
Mitsuharu Misawa 2.4%
Kenta Kobashi 1.8%
Harley Race 1.6%
Antonio Inoki 1.3%
Verne Gagne 0.8%
Dory Funk Jr. 0.5%
Jumbo Tsuruta 0.3%
WHO WAS THE GREATEST MMA CHAMPION IN HISTORY?
Anderson Silva 37.9%
Fedor Emelianenko 22.8%
Brock Lesnar 11.2%
Randy Couture 9.5%
Chuck Liddell 2.5%
Wanderlei Silva 2.1%
Matt Hughes 1.8%
Jon Jones 1.4%
Tito Ortiz 1.4%
POLL ON IMPACT
35.7% of those responding didn't see the show
--Jim Maugeri at
is selling some unique items
Steve Nelson's actual USWF world title belt from the 90s
The 1952 and 1953 Sid Ferber wrestling books (those are collectors items)
Tons of 1960s Wrestling Revue magazines
600 magazines in all
Lou Thesz American Icon VHS tape
--Luke Zachrich beat Marcus Finch via unanimous decision in the main event of last night's Ultimate Victory Challenge show in Columbus, OH, while Dan Spohn beat Aaron Mays via armbar in 2:41 in the semifinal.
--Joe Ausanio, a former player with the New York Yankees, who did a pro wrestling match last year for Northeast Wrestling, led his Marist College women's softball team to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title with a 4-1 win over Fairfield University today, which sends them to the Division I nationals. (thanks to Phil Strum)