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.
Monday's News Update
--Bryan and I will be back tonight covering Raw, taking your questions and discussing the latest news on Wrestling Observer radio. We have three new weekend shows up right now, a post-UFC 161, post WWE Payback and an hour plus show answering tons of questions about everything under the sun.
--The WWE web site has a video with Paul Heyman and C.M. Punk starting up the split between the two of them since Punk is now a babyface. Punk makes it clear that Heyman is not his manager or his legal representative, and that Heyman should stick with Brock Lesnar and Curtis Axel, who need him. Punk said he and Heyman are strictly friends.
--I guess we'll see what happens with Mark Henry tonight. Could be a legit retirement, could be an angle. As noted earlier today, people I checked with had heard nothing about Henry retiring so if he is, it's not something many were aware of ahead of time.
--Last night, in competition with Payback, the NBA finals did 14.16 million viewers. Miss USA, where Nikki Bella was a judge, did 4.56 million viewers.
--Regarding TripleMania, that didn't air last night, Dorian Roldan said that UStream was sending out refunds to everyone that ordered and that the show would air for free at some point today at the www.luchalibreAAA.com
web site (thanks to Des Delgadillo)
--Joe Bailey, the father of J.C. Bailey (who passed away in 2010), passed away due to complications from lung cancer at the age of 58 yesterday. He promoted Bad 2 the Bone wrestling in Kentucky (thanks to Brian Wescott, Adam Lash and many others)
--WWE related searches were in 6th place yesterday, at about the same level as UFC searches were the day before. That's not good for UFC, which usually beats WWE searches by roughly the same margin it wins when it comes to PPV numbers. But nobody was expecting Saturday's UFC show to do any big numbers.
--WWE returns to Ontario for TV with Raw being taped on 9/9 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and Smackdown on 9/10 in Ottawa.
--The next WWE show in Chicago will be Raw on 9/23.
--King Mo faces Seth Petruzelli on Wednesday night in the main event of Bellator's first show on Spike without the benefit of a TNA lead-in. that makes for a very interesting rating. Bellator's FightMaster reality show debuts on Wednesday night. I've seen the first episode and it was very good, and most everyone else who has seen it has written the same thing.
--The funeral information for former WCW wrestler Al Dobalo (Al Green) is that there will be a viewing from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday at the Blount & Curry Oldsmar West Hillsborough Chapel in Tampa. The funeral will be Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the same location.
--Chael Sonnen and Kenny Florian will be judges at the annual Hooter's international swimsuit competition at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas on 6/27.
--As far as the Fuel schedule goes, Chuck Liddell vs. Rich Franklin is at 7 p.m., and the live show from last year headlined by Stefan Struve vs. Stipe Miocic is at 8 p.m.
--A few notes from yesterday's update. Jackie Fargo remains in critical condition. China Grove, the city Fargo has lived in forever, is in North Carolina, not South Carolina as listed yesterday. Also, the Tony Martin listed in a Texas title change from the early 60s was later better known as Assassin #1, Tom Renesto. (thanks to Crimson Mask)
--Regarding the Fandango song being played at Saturday's Baltimore Orioles game, they actually did a wrestling themed day when it came to music. Every Oriole player came out to a wrestling song, including themes from Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, HHH, Ted DiBiase Sr., Big show, Val Venis, Too Cool and Chris Jericho (thanks to Kyle Luce)
--FWE is doing an iPPV on Friday night at 8 p.m. Eastern at www.wwnlive.com
Carlito Colon vs. John Hennigan (John Morrison) for FWE title
Tommy Dreamer vs. Rob Van Dam (this was made before RVD signed with WWE)
Paul London vs. Jimmy Akio Yang
Jigsaw & Tony Nese vs. Young Bucks
Angelina Love & Katarina Leigh (Winter) vs. Maria Kanellis & Ivelisse Velez
Brian Kendrick vs. Petey Williams
--Jerry Lawler's first match back on 5/25 is available now at http://www.dory-funk.com
by clicking on Jerry Lawler Returns to the ring.
--On Friday night's XFC show on AXS, in a lightweight match, Eric Reynolds gave Kevin Forant a Minoru Suzuki version Gotch piledriver right in front of ref Gary Copeland. The piledriver is, in fact, illegal in MMA (and Jim Cornette did not write that rule). It looked brutal. The ref didn't call it. But Mike Schiavello, a huge wrestling fan, was calling the action and went crazy, although he didn't reference Karl Gotch or Suzuki. (thanks to Michael Bernstein)
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY
1934 - Mario Nunez beat Tony Canales in Mexico City to become the first-ever Mexican national welterweight champion
1957 - Cyclone Anaya beat Tor Yamato to win the Southern jr. heavyweight title in Birmingham
1964 - Pat Patterson & Tony Borne beat Nick Bockwinkel & Buddy Moreno to win the Pacific Northwest tag team titles in Salem, OR
1965 - Bob Orton Sr. won a tournament for the vacant Souther title in Jacksonville
1972 - Dutch Savage & Lonnie Mayne beat The Royal Kangaroos (Jonathan Boyd & Norman Fredrich Charles III) to win the Pacific Northwest tag team titles
1977 - A huge show in St. Louis saw WWWF champion Superstar Billy Graham retain over Big Bob Slaughter (later Sgt. Slaughter), NWA champion Harley Race beat Missouri State champion Jack Brisco, and AWA tag team champions Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell beat Blackjack Lanza & Bobby Duncum
1982 - Pvt. Don Kernodle & Pvt. Jim Nelson beat Porkchop Cash & Iceman King Parsons to win the Mid Atlantic tag team titles in Roanoke
1983 - In front of the first-ever legitimate pro wrestling sellout crowd at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Kerry Von Erich & Bruiser Brody beat Michael Hayes & Terry Gordy to win the American tag team titles. The main event saw Harley Race retain the NWA title in a match with Kevin Von Erich. Fans expected Ric Flair, who had lost the title a week earlier to Race.
1984 - Jake Roberts apparently won the NWA TV title from Ron Garvin in Atlanta, but the title was held up because Roberts used a foreign object
1985 - Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo beat Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff to win the WWF tag team titles in Poughkeepsie
1985 - The Fabulous Ones, Stan Lane & Steve Keirn, beat Ron Sexton & Billy Travis in a tournament final to win the Southern tag team titles in Memphis
1987 - Villano III beat Perro Aguayo Sr. to win the vacant WWF light heavyweight title in Mexico City
1988 - Chris Benoit beat Johnny Smith in Calgary to win the British Commonwealth mid-heavyweight title
1989 - TNA beat Abbuda Dein (who I think was Curtis Iaukea's son Rocky) to win the WWC TV title in San Juan
1990 - Suzuka Minami beat Aja Kong via DQ to win the All-Pacific title, but Minami declined accepting the title due to the nature of the finish
1990 - Manami Toyota beat Yumiko Hotta to win the annual Japanese women's Grand Prix tournament
1996 - Jushin Liger beat Dick Togo to win the British jr. heavyweight title in Tokyo and Shinjiro Otani beat Kazushi Sakuraba to retain the UWA jr. light heavyweight title
1996 - Flex Kavana (Dwayne Johnson) & Bart Sawyer beat Brickhouse Brown & Reggie B. Fine to win the USWA tag titles in Memphis
1997 - Kyoko Inoue beat Kaoru Ito to win the WWWA women's title in Sapporo
2007 - Kurt Angle won King of the Mountain to win the TNA title and Jay Lethal beat Chris Sabin to win the X Division title
WHO SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN THE REPLACEMENT TITLE SHOT AT JOSE ALDO?
Chan Sung Jung 78,0%
Ricardo Lamas 22.0%
WHAT WAS THE BEST TV SHOW OF THE PAST WEEK?
UFC 161 prelims 9.2%
UFC Tonight 1.0%
MMA Live 1.0%
Main Event 0.5%
Countdown to UFC 161 0.5%
--Knokx Pro from Saturday in Simi Valley, CA: Syko Stu b Maverick, Parker Greaves b Pedro, Parker Greaves b Jezette, Jacob Fatu & Hillbilly Hero b Greyson & Primal, EyeZ in Disguise b Money Money Montez, Ricky the Activist b Logan, Black Pearl b TMD in a lumberjack match. Next show is 7/26 in North Hollywood at the NoHo Food Truck Fest. (thanks to Clint Mayher)
--Smash Wrestling from last night in Toronto: Taylor Hayden b Shane Sabre, Urbdan Miles and Preston Miles, Gregory Ironb Buxx Bellmar, Jewells Mallone b Seleyzia Sparkz (one of ROH's Hoopla Hotties), John Greed b Shane Sabre, John Green b Urban Miles, John Greed b Preston Miles, John Greed b Tadarius Thomas, Brent Banks b Alex Vega, John Greed b Ginger Ninja, Josh Alexander & Sebastian Suave b Louis Lyndon & Flip Kendrick, Scotty O'Shea won a three-way over Tyson Dux and Player Uno, Matt Cross b Sonjay Dutt in a falls count anywhere match. Dutt did a moonsault off a bike stand outside the building. (thanks to Dave Musgrave)
--Honky Tonk Man headlines Friday night's Funkdafied Wrestling show in Union, NJ at the Elks Lodge.
--Andre the Giant was referenced during the TV show last night that Julia Louise-Dreyfus is on.
--Paul Lazenby has an interview with Adam "Edge" Copeland talking about his days when he was 17, and he worked as a bouncer in Orangeville, ONT at www.facebook.com/FamousBouncers
--NWA Florida Underground Wrestling from Saturday night in Kissimmee, FL: T-Bone Funk b Josh Hess and Keannu, The Grease b Mitch Mitchell, Andreas Rossi b J.D. Maverick, Lince Dorado b Angel Santos, MDK & JB Cool b Joey Epix & Big O, Rosa Negra b Solo Darling & Cherry, Kahagas b Kenny Kendrick-DQ, Michael Tarver b Deimos (thanks to Ron Niemi)
--The new ROH six-pack will be released by Filsinger Games this coming Saturday in Baltimore at the Best in the World iPPV show. The new pack, called Future of Honor, has playing cards for Matt Taven, ACH, QT Marshall, Tadarius Thomas, BJ Whitmer and Bobby Fish.
--Matt Hardy made an announcement that he will not be appearing at Saturday night's New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame night. He will be working on Friday night in Everett, MA for Big Time Wrestling doing a meet and greet before the show and wrestling on the show.