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 with Wrestling Observer radio, talking the latest news, ratings, fights, ROH, TNA, WWE, UFC and New Japan.
--The National Wrestling Hall of Fame today sent out a release saying that Ric Flair won't be appearing in Waterloo the weekend of 7/13 to be inducted into their George Tragos/Lou Thesz Hall of Fame. They are saying that Flair canceled due to a family commitment. However, Edge, Matt Hughes, Dan Gable, Jim Brunzell, Cowboy Bill Watts, George Napolitano, Danny Hodge, Gerald Brisco, Jim Ross, Baron Von Raschke, Mad Dog Vachon, Larry Hennig and Bob Roop are all scheduled to appear.
--On the new WWE War Games DVD release, Chris Benoit in the 1997 War Games is not edited out, either on the screen or in commentary. (thanks to Michael Bernstein)
--Bobby Lashley's opponent for this Saturday's Global Warrior Challenge PPV is Matthew Larson (2-2). Larson got the gig today for the fight on Saturday night from the Sprint Center in Kansas City. A number of former UFC stars are on the show including Ricco Rodriguez, Kendall Grove and Drew Fickett.
--Jeff Katz wrote that his Wrestling Revolution Project has had its editing completed and would be released soon via DVD. Katz said that everyone who donated to the project would get their money returned and also get what was promised to them.
--The web site Liverkick.com has reported that the legendary Semmy Schilt has retired due to heart problems. Schilt, 39, won four K-1 World Grand Prix tournaments and also fought in UFC and Pride, as well as being world class in karate. Schilt, 6-foot-11 1/2 and 285 pounds. had a few fights in the 90s against Masakatsu Funaki. He was one of the most successful heavyweight kickboxers of all-time. He last fought in Japan on New Year's Eve, knocking out Daniel Ghita in the first round.
--Tickets are available for the Smackdown taping on 9/3 in Minneapolis using the code word ZIGGLER
--The reports of a UFC show on 11/15 in Brazil are not correct. UFC had been in talks for a show on that date, but it is not going to happen.
--On Fuel Tonight, the Ronda Rousey special from last night will be at 7 p.m., Ultimate Insider at 7:30 p.m. and UFC 139, featuring the Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua fight of the year will be at 8 p.m. All times are Eastern, three hours earlier on the West Coast.
--ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1936 - Everette Marshall beat Ali Baba to win the National Wrestling Association world heavyweight title
1968 - Peter Maivia & Billy White Wolf beat Curtis Iaukea & Ripper Collins to win the Hawaiian tag team titles in Honolulu
1971 - Ripper Collins & Mad Dog (Lonnie) Mayne beat Suni War Cloud & Steven Little Bear to win the Hawaiian tag team titles i Honolulu
1973 - Johnny Valentine beat Ron Fuller in Tampa to win the Southern title
1975 - Antonio Inoki beat Tiger Jeet Singh in Tokyo to win the NWF title
1982 - Bret Hart beat Leo Burke to win the North American title
1982 - Invader I & Pierre Martel beat The Fabulous Kangaroos, Don Kent & Johnny Heffernan, to win the WWC world tag team titles in San Juan
1983 - Jerry Ayatollah Blackwell and Sheik Ken Patera beat Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell to win the AWA world tag team titles in Minneapolis
1987 - Frankie Lancaster & Eric Embry beat Tommy Rogers & Bobby Fulton in Dallas to win the World Class tag titles
1988 - Bull Nakano beat Yumiko Hotta to win the All Japan women's Grand Prix tournament
1989 - Miss A, who later became Dynamite Kansai, beat Devil Masami to win the International women's title
1992 - Rick & Scott Steiner beat Bam Bam Bigelow & Big Van Vader in Tokyo top win the IWGP tag team titles and El Samurai beat Jushin Liger on the same show to win the IWGP jr. title
1994 - Barry Horowitz beat Franz Schumann in Graz to win the CWA middleweight title
1995 - Billy Jack Haynes beat Brian Christopher in Memphis to win the Southern title
1996 - Masato Tanaka & Koji Nakagawa & Tetsuhiro Kuroda beat The Head Hunters & Super Leather (Mike Kirchner) to win the FMW World street fight six man titles
2001 - Albert (Tensai) beat Kane to win the IC title in Madison Square Garden
IF YOU HAVE PURCHASED A UFC SHOW THIS YEAR, ARE YOU BUYING THE INVICTA SHOW?
No, I buy based on big stars, not big enough stars 29.6%
Will not buy an all-women's show 28.9%
Yes, enjoy MMA shows, will buy the show 14.8%
Have watched Invicta before, looking forward to the show 13.4%
Normally wouldn't but Cyborg vs. Coenen is a good main event 7.0%
Will not buy a PPV show headlined by women 4.2%
Watched Invicta in the past, didn't impress me 2.1%
WHAT JULY SHOW ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO?
WWE Money in the Bank 61.2%
UFC 162 16.8%
New Japan PPV 14.4%
TNA Destination X TV show 5.9%
Invicta PPV 1.9%
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW?
Daniel Bryan 75.7%
Paul Heyman 9.5%
C.M. Punk 6.8%
A.J. Lee 3.1%
Randy Orton 1.8%
Alberto Del Rio 1.6%
Chris Jericho 1.4%
POLL ON RAW
9.2% of those responding didn't see the show
--Dragon Gate USA will be doing a CHIKARA tribute on its 7/28 show in New York at the Highline Ballroom, which is the building CHIKARA ran in.
--Mickie James will be singing the national anthem for the Hudson Valley Renegades minor league baseball team on their 8/2 game at Dutchess Stadium in Poughkeepsie.
--Shane Carwin was announced as taking a job as the Vice President of Fighter Development with the CPFC, the Colorado Prize Fighting Championships. The promotion has its next show on 7/13 in Denver at the Magness Arena.
--There are a ton of people who have written in about the term rubber match. Some say that it came from bridge, where if you win two of three games, you win the rubber. It was said that in the earliest days of baseball, they borrowed the term as far as a three-game series where if it was died, it was called the rubber game. However, there is an earlier reference in the sort bowls, or lawn bowling, dating back to 1599 for a tie-breaker game. The earliest reference in bridge looks to be in the 1700s.
--Fisher Communications will vote on 8/6 on the proposed sale of the company to Sinclair Broadcasting. Fisher Communications in based in Seattle and owns 20 television stations, many on the West Coast. It would give ROH its first real West Coast TV presence in a number of mid-level markets, plus Seattle. (thanks to Chris Cruise)
--A correction from yesterday. The Mid Atlantic Memories Fan Fest Greg Price is putting on this year is not scheduled to be the last one. Price has said that the 2014 version will be the final one. (thanks to Elizabeth Combs)
--The presale for the next WWE show in Las Vegas started today with the code WWEFAN. For Ontario, CA, the code is WWEFAN and for Phoenix the code is WWELIVE
--Roddy Piper appears at the Days of the Dead convention from 7/5 to 7/7 in Indianapolis at the Wyndham Indianapolis West.
--Inspire Pro Wrestling on 7/7 in Austin, TX at the Marchesa Theater with a 6 p.m. show with ACH vs. Davey Vega vs. Chuck Taylor as the main event.
--The next shows in Tijuana at the Auditorio are a Friday night show with Ak-47 vs. Angel Blanco Jr. vs. Juventud Guerrera vs. TJ Boy, and a 7/26 show with Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs. Cien Caras Jr. and Atlantis vs. Ultimo Guerrero.
--CMLL from Monday night in Puebla: Millennium & Bengala b Cholo & Siki Ozama I, Amapola & Vaquerita & Princesa Sugei b Lluvia & Luna Magica & Dalis la Caribena, Espiritu Maligno & Barbaro Cavernario & Escandalo b Black Metal & Triton & Pegasso Extreme, Shocker & Brazo de Plata & Stuka Jr. b Psicosis & Morphosis & Kraneo, Averno & Mephisto & Ephesto b CMLL trios champs Valiente & Mascara Dorada & Mistico to set up a title match on 7/1.
--CMLL from last night in Guadalajara: Metatron & Sky Kid b Ebola & Demonio Maya, Pequeno Violencia & Pierrothito & Pequeno Black Warrior b Bam Bam & Electirco & Astral, Brazo de Plata b Kraneo, Virus & Negro Casas b Valiente & Sagrado, Atlantis & Shocker & Diamante Azul b Mr. Aguila & El Terrible & Pierroth (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner)
--Cody Hall, the son of Scott, debuts for Progression Pro Wrestling on Friday night at the Famous Pub in Atlanta.
--Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards are heading to Mexico on 7/5 in Queretaro for a main event of Crazy Boy & Richards & Mari Apache vs. Joe Lider & Edwards & Fabi Apache. Lider & Crazy are regular partners. Richards and Edwards are regular partners. The Apaches are sisters, although they are regular opponents.
--Jesse Ventura will be releasing a book looking at the John F. Kennedy Assasination that will come out in October called 63 Reason To Believe There Was A Conspiracy to Assassinate JFK.