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.
Monday's News Update
--Bryan and I will be back late tonight after Raw with Wrestling Observer radio, talking Raw, the New Japan PPV, July schedule and a lot more.
--We will also have a second audio show later today covering the death of Jackie Fargo.
--I hope WWE gives Jerry Lawler some time on tonight's show to mention Jackie Fargo. Normally WWE would not acknowledge someone, even of his star power, who passed away unless it's either a family friend or a star who for various reasons couldn't be ignored. But with the Lawler connection, I'd hope that policy won't hold up tonight. Fargo was Lawler's idol, father figure, helped break him in and Lawler borrowed so much of Fargo's stuff as both a heel and a face.
--New Japan will be doing two PPV shows in July now. The 7/5 show from Korakuen Hall will be on iPPV worldwide along with the bigger 7/20 show in Akita (lineup on the front page).
--On Fuel tonight, there is a Best of Pride marathon from 7 p.m. Eastern to midnight.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1950 - Buddy Rogers beat Bozo Brown for a version of the world title in Akron
1958 - Duke Keomuka & John Tolos beat Pepper Gomez & Larry Chene in Dallas to win the Texas tag team titles
1964 - Tokyo Tom (Kanji Antonio Inoki) beat Joe Blanchard in Houston to win the Texas state title
1964 - Alan Colbeck beat Jack Dempsey to win the European welterweight title
1966 - Pedro Morales & Luis Hernandez (stepfather of Gino Hernandez) beat Buddy Austin & El Mongol for the WWA tag team titles at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles
1970 - Ripper Collins beat Sammy Steamboat to win the Hawaiian title in Honolulu
1972 - The biggest pro wrestling show in the history of Texas wrestling up until this point in time took place on this day before 26,339 fans at Texas Stadium with Dory Funk Jr. retaining the NWA title going to a 60 minute draw against Fritz Von Erich. Billy Red Lyons beat The Spoiler to win the American title and Stan Stasiak beat Red Bastien to win the Texas title
1972 - Abdullah the Butcher beat Ernie Ladd to win the NWF title in Akron
1972 - Johnny Walker (Wrestling II) & Boris Malenko beat The Professional (Doug Gilbert) & Mike Webster to win the Florida tag team titles in Jacksonville
1974 - Jackie Fargo beat Jerry Lawler to win the Southern jr. heavyweight title in Memphis before a city indoor sports record of 11,738 fans at the Mid South Coliseum. Lawler and Fargo had sold out the week before, and the week after with the blow-off in a cage match which was the period where Fargo passed the torch as the top star to Lawler.
1976 - El Halcon beat Gran Markus in Mexico City to win the Mexican national heavyweight title
1978 - It is listed that Roddy Piper beat Moondog Mayne at the Cow Palace to win the U.S. title on this date. I've seen a ton of historical listings of this, but I'm almost sure this was a non-title match.
1979 - El Signo beat Bobby Lee for the UWA welterweight title in Tijuana
1984 - Wahoo McDaniel (when he turned heel) beat Ricky Steamboat to win the U.S. title at the Greensboro Coliseum
1984 - Canek beat Dos Caras to win the UWA heavyweight title in Naucalpan
1985 - Chris Adams & Gino Hernandez beat Tommy Rogers & Bobby Fulton in Fort Worth to win the American tag team titles
1985 - Bota the Witch Doctor beat Jerry Lawler to win the Southern title in Memphis
1987 - Cien Caras beat MS 1 in Nezahualcoyotl to win the world light heavyweight title
1988 - Shiro Koshinaka beat Owen Hart to win the IWGP jr. title in Osaka. That was a great match.
1988 - Johnny Smith beat Chris Benoit in Calgary to win the British Commonwealth mid-heavyweight title in Calgary
1988 - Fabuloso Blondy (Ken Timbs) beat Lizmark Sr. to win the NWA world light heavyweight title in Mexico City
1990 - Los Villanos I & IV & V beat Kahoz & Rambo & Zandokan for the UWA trios titles in Naucalpan
1992 - Rex King & Steve Doll beat Doug Masters & Ron Starr for the WWC tag titles in Dorado,Puerto Rico
1993 - Brian Lee beat Tracy Smothers in the finals of the tournament for the King of Kentucky in Hazard, KY
1996 - Harlem Heat won a three-way over Lex Luger & Sting and the Steiners to win the WCW tag titles in Charlotte
2001 - Edge beat Kurt Angle to win the King of the Ring tournament in East Rutherford, NJ
2007 - Johnny Nitro (Morrison) beat C.M. Punk to win the vacant ECW title and Candice Michelle beat Melina to win the WWE womens' title in Houston
2012 - Kenny King & Rhett Titus beat Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas in New York to win the ROH tag titles
--A note from the story on the Mick Foley show in Fairhaven, MA over the weekend. Men on a Mission were at the fan convention. The promoter had a room issue and put them in a different room next to the big hall. It wasn't well explained and not a lot of people saw them, but they were there. Ashley Massaro was also there, but she did arrive late. The fan fest was 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and she didn't get there until 1 p.m., but she stayed until 6:30 p.m. (thanks to Pat Laprade)
--Tom Lister, who headlined a few WWF PPVs as Zeus, against Hulk Hogan, turned 55 today. Adam Pearce turned 35.
--It was six years ago today that Chris Benoit committed suicide at the age of 40. His tag team partner, Biff Wellington, was found dead in his home at 42 on the same day. Toni Adams, the ex-wife of Chris Adams, who was an early valet, passed away at 45 on this day three years ago. Mini star Cowboy Bradley passed away three years ago today at the age of 75. (thanks to Georgia Wrestling History)
POLL ON SATURDAY NIGHT'S ROH TV SHOW
59.8% of those responding didn't see the show. I had heard rave reviews for this episode.
WHICH SHOW WAS BEST?
New Japan Dominion 76.7%
ROH Best in the World 23.3%
WHAT WAS THE BEST TV SHOW OF LAST WEEK?
Main Event 0.6%
--There is a new Foley interview at www.MLW.com
talking the Wyatt Family gimmick
--New England Fights returns with a show on 7/12 in Bangor, ME at Darling's Waterfront Pavilion called Nationals Collide: Canadian Invasion. The focus is New England fighters against Eastern Canadian fighters. 22 fights in all are scheduled.
--Former wrestling personality Stacy Keibler is working with Colgate to break the world's record for both people using mouthwash in one place at the same time. For everyone who comes, Colgate will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish. It's free admission as long as you're ready to use mouthwash, at Times Square tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m.
--NWA Anarchy from Saturday night in Cornelia, GA before 100 fans, the normal crowd, even with Scott Hall there. Corey Hollis & Mike Posey b Jake Coal & Jeremy Foster, Azreal b even, Brandon Parker & Kevin Blue b Shadow Jackson & Nemesis, Seth Delay b Anthony Henry, Cody Hall (Scott's son) b Mike Posey, Bobby Moore & C.B. Gibson & Tommy Penrelli b Najasism & Vandal & Diego Wynn, Slim J b Corey Hollis, Geter b Jeremy Vain-DQ, Brody Ray Chase b Shaun Tampers
--In Your Face Wrestling from Saturday night in Ballston Spa, NY: Northern Studd b Ronnie Ribbs, Drake Evans b Etanna, C.J. Scott & Damon Ravage b Ian Daniels & Rickety Rocket, Roman Dominguez b Sgt. Fury, Scott Scarsdale & Guillaume deSade b Good Lord Willing & Chip Stetson, Liam McFerran b Elite Terrell, Savage Wolves b Northern Fury, Fronz Roddy b Ricky Williams
--Joanne Calderwood vs. Norma Rueda enter of Greg Jackson's camp was added to the 7/13 Invicta PPV show. Center was 5-0 as an amateur and 2-0 as a pro. Calderwood is 6-0, after going 19-2 in Muay Thai where she held both world and European titles in her weight class.
--Absolute Intense Wrestling from 6/30 at Turners Hall in Cleveland is doing an iPPV for $14.99 headlined by Eric Ryan defending their title against Colin Delaney, Tom Donst vs. Michael Hutter, Michael Elgin vs. Josh Alexander, B.J. Whitmer vs. Chris Dickinson, plus Tracy Smothers, Matt Cross, Josh Prohibition, Louis Lyndon, ACH and Johnny Gargano.
--USWO from Sunday in Millersville, TN before 66 fans: Psycho Medic b Big Time Sexy, Miss Rachel b Heather Owens, Nick Iggy & Kerry Awful b Dyron Flynn & Prince Omar Al-Kazan, Weston Cage b Zack Hartnell, Kevin Weatherby b Josh Crow, Justin Grandberry won three-way over L.T. Falk and TNT Mottley, Chris Michaels b Mike Jablonski. Next show is 7/21 with Ricky Morton. (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
--I Believe in Wrestling from the Team Vision Dojo in Orlando last night: Jesse Neal b Carlos Rivera, Wayne Van Dyke b Rafael Altair, Tim Zbyszko b Chico Adams, Josh Hess b Gabriel Black, Chasyn Rance b Santana Garrett and Jayson Falcone to keep the cruiserweight title, Jesse Neal b C.J. O'Doyle. Next show is 7/21 (thanks to Al Haft)
--Dhiego Lima vs. Ricky Rainey headlines for XFC on 9/6 in Albuquerque for AXS TV's Friday night shows.
--BANG on 6/29 in Ocala, FL at the Ocala Hilton Hotel headlined by Dory Funk Jr.
--Tito Santana headlines on Saturday night in Lakewood, NJ at the John P. Patrick Sports Complex for the Funkdafied Wrestling Federation in a fund raiser for the local little league.
--Metro Pro Wrestling on 7/13 in Kansas City at the Turner Rec Center headlined by Jeremy Wyatt vs. Mark Sterling plus Adam Pearce returns.
--Wrestling Cares Association on 6/29 in Gardena, CA at the VFW Post 3261 has Adam Pearce vs. Adam Page, Johnny Gargano vs. Chase Stevens, Brandon Gatson vs. Willie Mack, D.J. Hyde vs. Drake Younger, Antonio Thomas vs. Alex Reynolds. B.J. Whitmer vs. Shaun Tampers, Timothy Thatcher vs. Oliver John plus Maria Kanellis appears.