Also in this week's issue:
--Hall of Famer getting a Medal of Merit for out of the ring work
--Two stars in auto accident
--A look at the two major Dragon Gate shows of the past week
--An update on the All Japan/Keiji Muto split, and who seems to be leaning in what direction.
--Nobuo Shirashi talks the company's financial condition before he got there
--Jun Akiyama said he's made his decision where he's going
--All Japan announces full show for Sumo Hall
--NOAH announces the top matches on its next big show
--Coverage of Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial Show
--A look at NOAH's upcoming tag team tournament
--Lots of New Japan vs. NOAH matches
--Notes on the next New Japan PPV show
--Prince Devitt vs. Jushin Liger in England
--Zero-One's biggest event of the year
--Early 80s biggest feud returning again
--Lots of notes on the death and autopsy results of Reid Flair
--Notes on the death of Al Green
--Who is Jackie Fargo
--Brad Armstrong Memorial show notes
--A look at the last PWG show with some of the best indie wrestlers in the country
--More on Mark Starr's death
--Wrestling Hall of Famer said to be the biggest omission in Boxing Hall of Fame, makes Tyson sick
--Promotion of the WWC's match between the two biggest native stars in its history
--WCW star talks about returning to wrestling
--ROH next iPPV notes
--Notes on TNA's Destination X show
--Another major TNA exec let go
--Notes on future TNA Gut Check international star
--A look at TNA's weekend house shows
--Update on UFC in Boston
--Advance ticket sales for upcoming UFC events
--The situation with TRT being allowed in California
--Another UFC fighter takes heat for his views
--Dan Henderson talks Chael Sonnen
--Chael Sonnen says why he doesn't like LeBron James
--Jon Jones talks why he doesn't want to face Machida
--Dana White talks the currently filmed season of Ultimate Fighter
--Lots of new UFC fights
--More on Josh Burkman vs. Jon Fitch
--Former UFC fighter sentenced to 13 years in prison
--A seemingly insane attempt on PPV
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 covering the latest WWE, UFC and Bellator news as well as taking your questions that can be sent to
--Big interview with Saraya Knight, the mother of WWE's Paige and a top U.K. woman wrestling star who has been working of late in the U.S. is the guest on today's Figure Four Daily.
--Rey Mysterio will be undergoing surgery under Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham this week.
--The Ric Flair/Roddy Piper episode of Wife Swap will be on ABC on 6/30 at 8 p.m. Flair's girlfriend, Wendy Barlow goes to Portland while Kitty Toombs returns to Charlotte and meets up with Flair, who was in her wedding party more than 30 years ago.
--WWE was featured last night on The Daily Show. Mick Foley was on and challenged Zeb Colter to a debate on next week's show (thanks to Jose Echavarria, Michael Bernstein and Denis Gorman)
--More clips of that are at
--With Ricardo Lamas pulled from the 7/6 UFC show since they couldn't get an opponent for him after Chan Sung Jung was pulled from the show to face Jose Aldo Jr. on 8/3; they have moved Mark Munoz vs. Tim Boetsch from the FX main event to the PPV show.
--Does anyone have contact info for Ron Garvin?
--The Savemart Center in Fresno officially announced an 8/23 house show headlined by John Cena. Tickets go on sale Sunday. (thanks to Bryan White)
--Tickets for the 8/17 UFC show in Boston headlined by Chael Sonnen vs. Mauricio Shogun Rua are on sale right now at Ticketmaster with the code UFCSocial.
--Tickets for a house show headlined by John Cena on 8/12 in Sacramento can be ordered at Ticketmaster right now with the code WWESacramento
--On Fuel today, UFC Tonight airs at 7 p.m., Ultimate Insider at 7:30 p.m. UFC 137 (Nick Diaz vs. B.J. Penn) at 8 p.m. and an episode of the fifth season of Ultimate Fighter at 11 p.m.
--For those going to Las Vegas for the 7/6 UFC show, the Tuff N Uff promotion is doing a show at 7:30 p.m. on 7/5 at the South Point Arena. There will be a pre-party at 5:30 p.m. after weigh-ins end. UFC stars Travis Browne, Erik Perez and Clay Guida will be there to sign autographs. The show has six amateur championship fights.
--Pascal Krauss vs. Hyun Gyu Lim has been added to UFC's 8/31 show in Milwaukee.
--BAMMA announced a 9/13 show in Birmingham, England at the NIA Arena with Jason Jones vs. Max Nunes for the light heavyweight title and Jim Wallhead vs. Eddy Ellis for the welterweight title (thanks to Matthew Singh-Dosanjh)
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Greame Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1939 - Leroy McGuirk defeated John Swenski to win the world junior heavyweight championship in Hollywood, CA. McGuirk went on to hold he title until an auto accident ended his career in 1950
1959 - Fred Blassie beat Dick Gunkel (Dick Steinborn) to win the Southern title
1969 - Dick Murdoch & K.O. Kox beat Luke Brown & Tor Kamata in Kansas City to win the North American tag team title
1970 - Kurt & Karl Von Steiger beat Mark Lewin & Antonio Pugliese in Sydney to win the IWA tag titles
1971 - Bonnie Watson beat Ella Waldek in St. Petersburg to win the Florida women's title
1978 - Dusty Rhodes beat The Spoiler (Don Jardine) in West Palm Beach to win the Florida title
1979 - Pat Patterson beat Ted DiBiase in Allentown, PA to win the North American title. This title eventually became the IC title
1983 - Buck Zumhofe beat Mike Graham in Hamburg, MN to win the AWA light heavyweight title
1983 - Mr. Wrestling II beat Larry Zbyszko to win the National heavyweight title
1986 - Antonio Inoki beat Dick Murdoch in the annual IWGP tournament
1993 - Rick & Scott Steiner beat Ted DiBiase & IRS to win the WWF tag team titles in St. Louis
1994 - Combat Toyoda beat Megumi Kudo in Tokyo to win theWWA Independent womens' world title
2001 - The Dudleys beat Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho to win the WWF tag titles in Orlando
2002 - TNA in Nashville had Ken Shamrock winning a Rumble Battle Royal to become the NWA champion and A.J. Styles winning a double elimination match over Psicosis, Low Ki and Jerry Lynn to become the first X Division champion
2011 - Dolph Ziggler beat Kofi Kingston in Washington, DC at the Capitol Punishment PPV to win the U.S. title while Ezekiel Jackson beat Wade Barrett to win the IC title.
WILL ANDERSON SILVA VS. CHRIS WEIDMAN TOP 500,000 BUYS?
Yes, because July 4th is a traditional big show 24.7%
Yes, strong main event 26.3%
No, Weidman not a big enough name 49.0%
WHICH OF THESE SHOWS DO YOU HAVE THE MOST INTEREST IN?
New Japan Dominion 53.7%
ROH Best in the World 46.3%
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW?
Mark Henry 63.2%
C.M. Punk 19.5%
Daniel Bryan 7.4%
Brock Lesnar 4.6%
A.J. Lee 1.2%
Stephanie McMahon 1.0%
Alberto Del Rio 0.9%
Paul Heyman 0.7%
Vince McMahon 0.6%
John Cena 0.3%
The Shield 0.3%
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF RAW?
4.7% of those responding didn't se the show. Those are among the best marks in the show's history.
--Absolute Intense Wrestling on 6/30 in Cleveland will be an iPPV show from Turners Hall
--Andrew Moore, who won on Jeopardy Monday night, mentioned he was a big pro wrestling fan. He mentioned that his all-time favorite wrestler was Ric Flair. (thanks to Grant Zwarych and others)
--Glory 9 from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York on 6/22 at 8 p.m. will air live in Canada on The Fight Network. The show will be based around a one-night light heavyweight tournament that includes Tyrone Spong. Spong faces Michael Duut of Holland in the first round.
--CMLL on Sunday in Guadalajara: Javier Cruz Jr. & Idolo b Satara & Acertijo, Leon Blanco & Virgo & Esfinge b Rafaga & Infierno & Espectrum, Azteca de Oro & Sky Kid won four-way over Ebola & Exterminador, Hippie & Leo, and Demonio Rojo & Sadico, Princesa Blanca b Luna Magica, Negro Casas & Barbarop Cavernario & Mr. Niebla b Triton & Rey Cometa & El Hijo del Fantasma
--CMLL on Monday night in Puebla: Sauron & Psycho b Genesis & Millennium, Robin & Leono & Tigre Rojo b Espiritu Maligno & Cholo & Inquisidor, Stigma & Fuego & Sagrado b Virus & Raziel & Cancerbero, Psicosis & Morphosis & Kraneo b Delta & El Hijo del Fantasma & Blue Panther, Mascara Dorada & Mistico & Valiente b Averno & Mephisto & Ephesto-DQ
--CMLL from last night in Guadalajara: Black Metal & Leo & Magnus b Disturbio & Magnum & Sadico, Amapola Princesa Sugei b Marcel & Silueta, Kraneo & Malefico & Sangre Azteca & Vangelis b Brazo de Plata & Gallo & Guerrero Maya Jr. & Stuka Jr., Bam Bam b Mercurio in a minis hair vs. hair match, Shocker & La Sombra & Titan b Mr. Aguila & Rey Bucanero & Volador Jr.-DQ (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner)
--There is a Canek Tribute Show on 7/6 in Villahermosa, Mexico at the Sports Palace.
--Atlantis vs. Ultimo Guerrero headlines the 7/26 show at the Auditorio in Tijuana for Baja Stars Wrestling
--Jackson's MMA on 8/10 in Albuquerque at the Tingley Coliseum headlined by Conrad Padilla (4-0) vs. Nick Roads (5-2)
--Smash Wrestling on 7/14 at the E-Zone in Toronto. Everyone who attends can see WWE Money in the Bank free at the venue bar.