Also in this week's issue:
--Notes on the CMLL trios tournament
--CMLL and AAA going head-to-head this week
--Notes on the 2013 DragonMania show
--UFC star will be part of TripleMania and how the deal was put together
--The next Dragon Gate USA tour of the U.S.
--More details of Dragon Gate shows from Japan airing live on iPPV in North America
--First lineup of such, as well as the second lineup
--This week's big Dragon Gate shows and all the title matches
--Update on All Japan problems including the future of several of the wrestlers
--What's next for Keiji Muto
--Shiraishi talks All Japan goals for the next year
--Former All Japan star set to return
--More on the pro wrestling debut of the son of the son of El Santo
--Notes on New Japan business right now and going forward
--New Japan owner talks UFC, WWE and where New Japan stands
--New Japan star training this past week with UFC big names
--Former name pro wrestling star, retired, now working as a model
--Notes on the death of Mark Ashford-Smith aka Mark Starr
--Update on a number of former 90s stars of WCW and WWF
--A look at a number of major indie shows on iPPV
--One of wrestling's oldest promotions moves to iPPV for big show in a few weeks
--Notes from the last ROH show
--Wrestler dropped by ROH
--Lots of notes on Rampage Jackson in TNA
--Notes on how first impressions are important, but also often don't tell the full story
--Thoughts on Rampage Jackson going forward
--Bound for Glory series notes
--Sting talks potential of going to WWE
--The reason Sting has never gone to WWE
--Notes on TNA announcer Hector Guerrero
--Lots of notes and thoughts on upcoming UFC events
--When the biggest names will be ready
--More on MMA being allowed in different locales
--Is Chael Sonnen a liar? What would he say if asked?
--Update on Nick Diaz as a fighter and as a promoter
--Lots of UFC injury updates
--Lots of new UFC matches
--A look at Bellator's U.K. TV deal
--Rampage Jackson Bellator plans
--Notes on upcoming shows for World Series of Fighting
--Jon Fitch talks extensively on UFC pay
--Bobby Lashley MMA update
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.
Wednesday's News Update
--Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio, talking all the latest news as well as taking your questions to the show to
--The BBC today had a story on Dr. Rosi Sexton, who faces Alexis Davis on the PPV portion of Saturday night's UFC 161 show from Winnipeg. Story is at http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/england/22860420
(thanks to Jan Buxton, Lee Wall and many others)
--Impact will be taped on 7/18 in Louisville.
--Ric Flair is scheduled to appear at the next NXT tapings, which are 6/20 in Winter Park, FL.
--KSW promotions presents Clash of Giants on 9/28 at the Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland with aging former Olympic judo gold medalist Pawel Nastula faces Karl Bedorf for the heavyweight title, former UFC fighter Oli Thompson faces Kamil Walus, and world's strongest man five-time winner Mariusz Padzianowski faces an opponent yet to be names.
--For today on Fuel, Countdown to UFC 161 is at 6 p.m., UFC Tonight is at 7 p.m., Ultimate Insider at 7:30 p.m., UFC 68 (Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia) is at 8 p.m. and Ultimate Fighter season five from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. All times are Eastern time.
--A lot of sports media outlets compared the big brawl at the baseball game last night to WWE, some to the Royal Rumble, because one of the players attempted to throw an opposing team coach over the top of the dugout (thanks to Michael O'Brien)
--"Off the Hook," Eric Young's TV show in Animal Planet, returns for its second season tonight. He was a guest on The Today Show this morning wearing fishing gear promoting the show.
--The California State Athletic Commission at its meeting on Monday has put approval of fighters asking for therapeutic use exemptions for testosterone on hold. Basically, if you've gotten an exemption previously, you can still be approved but nobody new is being approved until new bylaws that completely detail the process are written and agreed to.
--AAA wrestler Parka Negra and independent wrestler Super Parka (the original Volador in AAA, father of Volador Jr.) were in an auto accident Monday night driving back from a show in Nuevo Laredo. Both were shaken up but neither was seriously injured.
--Results from the show were: Mini Charly Manson & Mini Rio Bravo b Anubis & Octagoncito, El Brazo & Street Boy & Zumbi b Aero Boy & Veneno & Violento Jack, Hombre sin Miedo &Kendor Jr. & Sobredosis b Laredo Kid & Perseus & Pimpinela Escarlata, Electroshock & La Parka b Parka Negra & Super Parka. There was a run-in by Laredo Kid, leading to Laredo Kid challenging Parka Negra to a cage match where the loser has to unmask. (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--Celebrating birthday today are Jerry Lynn (50 and retired), Mark Henry (42), referee Jack Doan (41) and Bryan Alvarez (38).
--Former WWWF champion Stan Stasiak (George Stepich) died 16 years ago today at the age of 60. Grizzly Smith, the father of Jake Roberts and one-half of The Kentuckians, passed away three years ago today at the age of 77.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (Thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1967 - Mil Mascaras beat El Espanto in Mexico City to win the Mexican national light heavyweight championship
1978 - Billy Robinson beat Tor Kamata in Ichinomiya, Japan to win the PWF title
1991 - Jushin Liger beat Norio Honaga in Tokyo to win the IWGP jr. heavyweight title
1995 - Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan beat Shinya Hashimoto & Junji Hirata (Super Strong Machine without his mask) to win the IWGP tag team titles in Osaka
1996 - Black Tiger, who was Eddy Guerrero, beat Jushin Liger in Osaka to win the Best of the Super Juniors tournament
1998 - Kenta Kobashi beat Toshiaki Kawada in Tokyo to win the Triple Crown
2001 - Test beat Rhyno to win the WWF Hardcore title in Baltimore
2012 - Ken Anderson beat Sting to win the TNA title at Slammiversary
--Raw on 8/26 will be from the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT BELLATOR ON TV ON FRIDAYS?
Wasn't going to watch no matter the night 56.9%
Will watch, would have watched no matter what night it's on 18.5%
Would have watched on Thursday after Impact, not on Friday against Smackdown 13.9%
Friday is a better night than Wednesday or Thursday for me to watch 9.7%
Would have watched on Wednesday against UFC, not on Friday 0.9%
WHO IS WWE'S BEST PERFORMER RIGHT NOW?
Daniel Bryan 86.4%
C.M. Punk 5.6%
Dean Ambrose 3.2%
Antonio Cesaro 2.2%
Chris Jericho 1.1%
Randy Orton 0.7%
Seth Rollins 0.4%
Dolph Ziggler 0.4%
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW?
Daniel Bryan 86.0%
Seth Rollins 3.6%
Stephanie McMahon 2.8%
Vince McMahon 2.6%
Damien Sandow 1.9%
Randy Orton 0.9%
Chris Jericho 0.2%
POLL ON RAW
11.5% of those responding didn't see the show
--Tickets for the 7/27 Dragon Gate USA show in Elmhurst, NY at the Queensboro Elks Lodge and 7/28 (a 1 p.m. show) at the Highline Ballroom in Manhattan are on sale today at www.DGUSA.tv
--George Steele will be doing book signings on Friday in Alatamone Springs, FL at Costco at 741 Orange Ave. at 11 a.m., and Saturday at Barnes & Noble in Merritt Island, FL at 1 p.m.
--The Mid Atlantic Wrestling Fan Fest from 8/1 to 8/4 in Charlotte announced over the weekend there will be matches with Doc vs Gunner from TNA, and Michael Elgin vs. Davey Richards from ROH.
--The One Fighting Championships announced a 9/13 show in Jakarta, Indonesia, with Yasuhiro Urushitani facing Shinichi Kojima for the flyweight title plus a Malaysia vs. Indonesia series. The show will air live on iPPV.
--Weigh-ins for Friday's World Series of Fighting show will be 6/13 at 1 p.m. Eastern time (4 p.m. local time) at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. They will stream at www.WSOF.com
--Tyson Griffin vs. J.Z. Cavalcante has been added to the 8/10 WSOF show in Ontario, CA at the Citizens Bank Arena. Ray Sefo will also be fighting on that show.
--Squared Circle Live on 6/29 in Barrie, ONT at the Army/Navy & Air Force Club has Adam Cole vs. Tyson Dux in the main event, plus Sonjay Dutt vs. Hakim Zane.
--CMLL.on Monday night in Puebla: Sauron & Espiritu Maligno & Ares El Guerrero b Meyer & Tigre Rojo Sr. & Aguila Egipcia, Stigma & Hombre Bala Jr. & Super Halcon Jr. b Nitro & Disturbio & Arkangel de la Muerte, Fuego & Sagrado & Blue Panther b Vangelis & Morphosis & Olimpico-DQ, Mr. Niebla & Pierroth & El Terrible b Diamante Azul & La Sombra & Mascara Dorada, Atlantis b Ultimo Guerrero.
--CMLL results from last night in Guadalajara: Mr Trueno & Rey Trueno b Virgo & Leo, Smaker & Black Metal b Super Comando & Artillero, Mercurio & Pequeno Violencia & Pequeno Black Warrior b Bam Bam & Acero & Ultimo Dragoncito, Rush b Euforia, La Sombra & Atlantis & Diamante Azul b Dragon Rojo Jr. & Rey Escorpion & Polvora (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner)
--Dark Angel (TNA's Sarita) was added to a 10 woman Cibernetico match on Sunday at Arena Mexico, which goes head-to-head with TripleMania.
--Jerry Lawler will be throwing out the first pitch at the Gateway Grizzlies minor league baseball game on 8/9 in St. Louis. Appearing doing meet and greets at the game will be Jerry Lawler, Harley Race, Ken Patera, Baron Von Raschke, Larry Matysik and Rocky Johnson. There will also be a wrestling show on 8/10 at the stadium with Race, Patera, Von Raschke, Matysik and Johnson appearing.
--NWA FU Pro Wrestling on Saturday in Clearwater, FL: Mitch Mitchell won three-way over Greasy Frank & Leo Gold, Solo Darling b Luscious Latasha, Andreas Rossi b Kennedy Kendrick, Michael Tarver b JD Maverick
--NWA FU Pro Wrestling on Sunday in Clearwater, FL: Mitch Mitchell b Wayne Wonder, Hardbody Rick Roberts b Joey Epix, Brittney Savage b Solo Darling, Jesse Neal b Andreas Rossi, Michael Tarver b Kenneth Cameron (thanks to Ron Niemi)
--Vendetta Pro Wrestling on 6/22 in Lompoc, CA at the United Boys & Girls Club features Sabu vs Drake Younger and Bestia 666 & Damian 666 vs. Ballard Brothers vs. Matt Carlos & Rik Luxury.
--Funkdafied Wrestling Federation on 6/21 in Union, NJ at the Elks Lodge features Honky Tonk Man.
--The new UFC Gym in Long Island has a Community Preview Day on 6/15 at their new location in North Hyde Park, NY. They've trademarked a phrase called "Train Different" for their gyms.
--Ernesto Ocampo on Facebook today said that after a three month hiatus, he will be bringing back Super Luchas magazine.
--Laredo Kid & La Parka vs. Electroshock & Mesias headlines Gimnasio Josue Nery Santos in Ciudad Juarez on 6/23, plus The Psycho Circus defends the AAA trios titles against the hair of local stars Cinta de Oro & Crazzy 33 & Rocky Star, who were around the Juarez area for decades.
--El Hijo del Santo vs. Blue Demon Jr. and Cheerleader Melissa vs. Ivelisse Velez headline a show on 6/23 in Merida.
--Cibernetico vs. Perro Aguayo Jr. headline Friday night in Tijuana at the Auditorio in a bull terrier match.