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.
Sunday's News Update
--First, thanks to Mike Sempervive last night. We ended up doing the show from 3:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Eastern time last night, which is not something I want to make a habit of doing. But I did say we'd answer all the questions and we got to most of them. Mike and I will be back next Saturday, at a more normal time slot since ROH is early evening and New Japan is actually the early morning, unlike UFC which ends at 1 and then there is still the press conference that's usually not done until close to 2:30 or so and I often have to write something after the show. But we've got a weekend review plus hours of questions being answered up on the site today.
--Bryan and I will be back tonight talking WWE Payback and other weekend news, as well as being back Monday after Raw.
--Hall of Famer Jackie Fargo has been hospitalized and is in cortical condition. Fargo, 85, has had heart problems for some time. He was found unconscious in his home in China Grove, SC yesterday and rushed to the hospital. His heart was only working at 15%. Everyone say special prayers for one of the all-time legends of Southern wrestling.
--Chris Jericho tweaked his knee, possibly in his match with Curtis Axel that took place on Tuesday's Smackdown taping. He is definitely working tonight and he did work last night as well, but there is fear of a torn meniscus.
--Ultimate Warrior, the former Jim Hellwig, turned 54 today.
--The Jerry Lawler museum is moving from Memphis to Tunica, MS. It was Wynn Automotive in Memphis, which just closed. It's now going to be moved to the casino in Tunica next to the Paula Dean Buffet.
--Fuel has an Anderson Silva special at 6 p.m., plus replays from season five of Ultimate Fighter from 9-11 p.m. and last night's prelims at 11 p.m.
--It was announced at last night's New York Wrestling Connection show that Dan Eckos had signed a WWE developmental deal.
--ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Greame Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1937 - Bronko Nagurski beat Dean Detton in Minneapolis to win that area's version of the world title
1961 - Pepper Gomez & Dory Dixon beat Duke Keomuka & Tony Martin to win the Texas version of the world tag team titles in Houston
1967 - Ronnie Etchison & Sonny Myers beat Bob Geigel & Bulldog Bob Brown to win the North American tag titles in St. Joseph, MO
1969 - Tojo Yamamoto & Johnny Long beat Johnny Walker (Mr. Wrestling II) & Sundown Kid for the Southern tag team titles in Memphis
1970 - Hiro Matsuda beat Dale Lewis in Tampa to win the Southern title
1971 - Steven Little Bear & Suni War Cloud beat Mad Dog Mayne & Ripper Collins to win the Hawaiian tag team titles
1973 - J.B. Psycho beat Johnny Powers to win the NWF title in Buffalo
1975 - Guy Mitchell & Ricky Hunter beat Gene Kiniski & Dale Lewis in Vancouver to win the Canadian Open tag team titles
1975 - Karl Von Steiger & Otto Von Heller beat Tojo Yamamoto & Jimmy Golden (who later played Jack Swagger Sr.) to win the Southern tag team titles in Memphis
1977 - Great Kojika & Motoshi Okuma beat Akihisa Takachiho (Great Kabuki) & Samson Kutsuada to win the All-Asia tag titles
1980 - The Assassins beat Ole & Lars Anderson to win the Georgia tag team titles in Augusta
1984 - Massao Ito beat Austin Idol in Memphis to win the International title
1984 - Terry Taylor beat Krusher Khruschev (Barry Darsow) to win the Mid South TV title in New Orleans
1986 - Dutch Mantell beat Rip Rogers in Memphis to win the Mid-American title
1986 - Buzz Swayer beat Chris Adams to win the World Class TV title in Fort Worth
1993 - Ted DiBiase & IRS beat Rick & Scott Steiner to win the WWF tag titles in Rockford, IL
1995 - Rey Misterio Jr. beat Juventud Guerrera in Queretaro to win the WWA lightweight title
2002 - American Dragon (Daniel Bryan) beat Super Dragon to win the APW Internet title in Hayward, CA
--In UFC picks, me, Bryan, Oliver Copp, Josh Nason and Mike Sempervive all went 3-2, missing on Stipe Miocic and Shawn Jordan winning. Todd Martin and Mike Sawyer went 2-3.
--WWE Classics on Demand update for this week:
Super Brawl 7
HHH King of Kings part 3 and 4
Tuesday Night Titans 12/20/85
Jerry Lawler & Greg Gagne vs. Masa Saito & Riki Choshu AWA TV 7/24/88
Jerry Lawler & Isaac Yankem (Kane) vs. Bret Hart & Hakushi Raw 10/23/95
Jerry Lawler vs. Austin Idol for USWA title 11/3/90
Jerry Lawler vs. Jeff Jarrett for USWA title 1/7/91
Greatest Kings of Wrestling part 2
Best of King of the Ring parts 3 and 4
Best of King of the Ring: Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy (2001), Kurt Angle vs Chris Jericho (2000), Bobby Lashley vs. Fit Finlay (2006), Brock Lesnar vs. Test (2002), X-Pac vs. Billy Gunn (1999)
WCW on TBS 7/9/88
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING?
67.3% of those responding didn't see the show
POLL ON SMACKDOWN
37.0% of those responding didn't see the show
WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON FRIDAY?
World Series of Fighting 18.1%
XFC on AXS 4.8%
42.3% watched none of the above.
--I've heard contradictory stories regarding C.M. Punk and new music from people inside the company, so I guess we'll have to see, but one person contacted me this morning and said it wasn't happening. It would seem to make no sense to do it tonight since "Cult of Personality" when he comes out should be the reaction of the night. I guess we'll see what happens because others internally have said Rancid has cut a new entrance song for him and I think one of the members of the band tweeted something to that effect.
--UFC 161 was the fourth most searched term on Google yesterday. Usual it's No. 1 or No. 2, but it was a distant fourth behind Kim Kardashian, Fathers Day and Boston Bruins. Searches were at a much lower level than most UFC PPVs, but that was to be expected.
--The Fandango song was played during the Baltimore Orioles game yesterday with the Boston Red Sox in Baltimore. (thanks to Michael O'Brien)
--Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs. Cien Caras Jr. headlines on 7/31 at Auditorio Municipal in Tijuana for Baja Stars Wrestling.
--Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling from last night in East Carondelet, IL before a standing room crowd of 300 fans: Bobby D b Jay Parnell, Big Texan b Brent Meyers, Dave Vaughn & Ironman Ken Kasa b Shorty Biggs & Gary Jackson, Adam Raw b Brandon Gallagher, Chas Wesson b Ax, Chris Hargas b Flash Flanagan-COR, Ricky Cruz b Ron Powers-DQ, Ironman Ken Kasa b Ricky Cruz to win the SICW title ending Cruz's 392 day reign (thanks to Larry Matysik and Patrick Brandmeyer)
--Pro Wrestling Revolution runs on 7/28 in Watsonville, CA at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds (I used to go to matches there as a kid) at 5 p.m. with Kafu & Dinamita vs. El Hijo del Santo & Blue Demon Jr., Oliver John vs. Anibal Jr and more, including Famous B, Drake Younger and Willie Mack. They also have a show on 8/4 in San Jose at the Santa Clara County Fair.
--Daniel Cormier will be speaking at the Pro Wrestling Revolution gym on Monday night, talking about his life and his struggles. Cormier is nicknamed the world's nicest guy in some circles. They are doing a one-day special on Monday that if you sign up for the school, you get 50% off the first month and only students at the school can see Cormier's speech. For more info you can call 408-728-8318.
--Eastern Wrestling Alliance from last night in Parkville, MD: Skull b Super Phoenix, Hijynnk b Lous Rich, Kenny Browning b Aken Pembrooke, Tito Santana b Wes Mercer-DQ, Vincent Varelli b Matt Wylde-DQ, T Jay Syks b Trent Affrell, Christian Academy b Sports Management International in a ten-man elimination match in 39:00 where the losing group had to disband. Reports were that Santana looks much better than most of the 80s guys doing indies these days, which doesn't surprise me. (thanks to Joe Burrows)
--Fast & Furious 6 debuted this past weekend in Australia at No. 1, doing $15.4 million in that country. "The Call" was No. 10 (thanks to James Stanios)
--John Klinger, 29, better known in Germany as Bad Bones, won TNA's on-line Gut Check challenge yesterday. The on-line voting had about 200 wrestlers who had received Gutcheck challenges at tryouts over the past several years. He had his fans in Germany started a campaign on Facebook and Twitter, as well as grassroots efforts to get non-wrestling fans to vote for him. Wrestlers in CZW and Big Japan Wrestling who knew him also posted to vote for him in England and Japanese. Most German web sites and Power Wrestling, the last remaining German wrestling magazine, also campaigned for him. This means he'll get a tryout on Impact. (thanks to Markus Gronemann)
--Lucha Xtreme TV from Fresno last night: Brian Tannen b Marckus Eriks, Wiseguy b Al Azar, A.J. Kirsch b Elemento, J.R. Kratos b Manny Fernandez-DQ (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--NWA Southern All-Star Wrestling from Friday night in Millersville, TN before a sellout of 180 fans: Lance Erikson & Hot Rod Biggs b Lightning Bolt Kid & Jason Nation, Shane Williams & Jocephus b Justin Grandberry & Kevin James Weatherby, Drew Haskins & Jeremiah Plunkett b Gary Valiant & Hammerjack, Wolfie D b Chris Michaels, Rob Conway d Chase Stevens (30:00 draw which actually took 28:05), Vordell Walker b Damien Wayne in a cage match to win the NWA National championship (thanks to Larry Goodman) Apparently Conway vs. Stevens was originally going to go 60:00 but Conway was nursing a minor injury.