THURS. UPDATE: Impact tonight, Punk restraining order, Kennedy apologizes,TNA new signing, Flair, WWE new facility, Linda McMahon, Old promotion restarts, UFC expo schedule, famous title reign from 78 years ago and how its ending hurt wrestling business

By Dave Meltzer
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        Impact tonight on Spike TV:
*Chris Sabin vs. Kenny King vs. Suicide for X Division title - This takes a twist that goes throughout the show
*Adam O'Riner vs. Ryan Howe - Gut check
*Magnus vs. Bobby Roode in Bound for Glory series
*Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky for Knockouts title
*Samoa Joe vs. Ken Anderson in Bound for Glory series
        I was told this was a good show, particularly the Suicide angle.
        The first of a two-part series on the life and times of Jackie Fargo is one of the headline stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We also have a ton about the backstage confrontation with HHH and Daniel Bryan, a look at what could be the show of the year, the New Japan Dominion PPV, as well as the situation in Ring of Honor after a PPV misfire and the potential leaving of the current ROH champion.
        The lead story looks at Fargo, going back to the Fabulous Fargos tag team, what originally got him over, his role in wrestling in Tennessee, the heyday of Tennessee, some of his most famous matches, his role in making Jerry Lawler a star, his background and drawing the largest crowd in Madison Square Garden in 25 years, the Fargo strut, Roughhouse Fargo and how Lawler and Fargo became so close long before Lawler was a wrestler.
        We also look back at the Lawler/Fargo match that took place 39 years to the day of Fargo's death when they set the Mid South Coliseum attendance record.  We look at the Tennessee wrestling war, the creation of The Fabulous Ones, the era of the Rock & Roll tag team, plus comments from Lawler and Stan Lane.  We look at Fargo's role in Lawler winning the AWA title, and his continuing to be booked in matches into his 70s.
        We also have a feature on the questions revolving the future of Ring of Honor.  We look at the contract situation of the Briscoes, whether they are staying or going, the ROH title situation, as well as others on the roster who may be leaving.  We look at the current state of the company and the decision to drop iPPVs. 
        We also have a match-by-match rundown of Best in the World with star ratings.
        We've got a detailed look at what happened on June 17th with Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan, the call by HHH, Bryan's reaction, and what is and isn't real about the scenario.
        We also update the WWE writing situation including who is in, who is out, who has risen to power and lost power all in the past few weeks.  We look at who is responsible for the quality of the TV. 
        We also look at Jack Swagger's arrest and conviction, notes from his trial and the officer description upon arresting him.
        We've also got the monthly WWE business notes when it comes to attendance, merchandise and web site numbers.
        We also have the first word on the WrestleMania DVD and whether it's good or not.
        We've got more on the Alberto Del Rio character, the developmental move, WWE stock and why it's up, viewers per home of late, UFC/WWE crossover and more.
        We also look at the WWE career of Matt Striker and his being let go, as well as details around it.
        We also update the Money in the Bank PPV, WWE scouting, a physical WWE Hall of Fame, RVD talking his WWE signing, update on a number of WWE injuries, doctor of WWE star gets in a lot of trouble and more on the Total Divas reality show.
        We also have a complete rundown of the last NXT tapings, angles changed, notes on different newcomer, as well as more WWE signings. We also look at one of the best wrestlers in the world who is trying to get into WWE, Gerald Brisco talks about the two most charismatic amateur wrestlers he's scouted and why WWE didn't sign either and both are doing well elsewhere.  We also look at a wrestler who wants to keep chair shots to the head, Mick Foley talks about the last angle he was supposed to do and why it never happened and a released WWE developmental wrestler complaints about Bill DeMott.
        We also have notes on Ron Simmons Appreciation Night, as well as business notes and highlights from all of WWE's weekend live events.
        We've also got a look at New Japan's Dominion PPV, as well as plans going forward for PPV shows from the promotion over the summer, going up to the G-1 Climax tournament.  We look at the cards for both July shows and the significance.  We've also got match-by-match rundowns with star ratings ad poll results
        We also look at how much wrestling helped Bellator ratings with a look at the Wednesday night debut of Bellator.
        We also have updated PPV numbers for every WWE show so far this year, including changes for Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania, as well as the first report on how Extreme Rules did and whether Brock Lesnar paid for himself or came close to it.
        The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
        The Observer is now in its 29th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world.  The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling and MMA industry, from bookers to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest names on camera and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries subscribe.  Many have subscribed for 20 years or longer consecutively.  They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world.  Everywhere from Wall Street to the major offices to television networks in the U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business.
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        We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows as well as details of how every segment on Raw and Impact this past week did and what gained and lost viewers.

        We also have results from all the major league arena events over the past week as well as a look at all the major television shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--Revival of a wrestling magazine
--Pro wrestler gets governmental honor
--Honor attempted to be turned into an angle
--New Japan title defended in Mexico
--Anniversary shows in Guadalajara and Puebla
--More notes from TripleMania
--Why the iPPV misfire was more damaging that originally thought
--What flopped
--What famous WWE angle was being used and why it didn't happen
--How the TNA talent was received at TripleMania
--All the new Dragon Gate title matches
--All the updated info on the split of New Japan and who is in what camp as a number of wrestlers make up their mind this past week
--Next major NOAH show and the outside stars who have been booked
--More on the NOAH junior heavyweight tag team tournament
--New Japan president makes a startling statement
--Feature movie being made on legendary wrestling character
--More on Hall of Fame wrestler running for senate and chances
--Japanese movie star being part of upcoming big show
--Notes on Flair and Piper TV special
--A look at Celebrity Wife Swap
--More on the Flair lifestyle
--A look at Dutch Savage
--Notes on Tommy Dreamer's latest show with a ton of the biggest outside names
--What did and didn't work
--Who came as surprises
--What wrestler who was one of the best in-ring performers has been telling promoters trying to book him that he's retired
--Biggest match of 2013 from a non-major promotion
--WWC's battle of legends lineup looked at
--Update on Jim Cornette
--Update on Scott Hall and DDP
--A look at the next month of ROH television
--All the upcoming ROH dates
--Notes on the ROH vs. SCUM feud ender
--More on the last TNA TV tapings
--More on company cost cutting
--A look at the TNA TV schedule
--Update on Zema Ion
--Dana White talks Bellator
--Another UFC international deal
--Return of Kid Yamamoto
--Historical pieces on MMA coming out in a few months to look out for
--More on Miesha Tate in ESPN Body magazine
--More on the current season of Ultimate Fighter
--MMA stats
--An MMA movie coming out
--A number of UFC cuts and their background
--UFC fighters complaining about money
--UFC bans sponsor
--New UFC fights
--A look at the last Bellator show
--Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez business notes
--Invicta moving to 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.
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        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.
Thursday's News Update
--John Gaburick, who started with TNA as EVP of Television Production, will be replacing Kevin Sullivan (not the wrestler Kevin Sullivan) in that position.  There are more changes of this type expected. 
--The Mayweather vs. Alvarez fight on 9/14 in Las Vegas is now officially sold out.  They announced closed-circuit in Las Vegas at the ARIA, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, the Monte Carlo and New York New York.
--The reason Ric Flair canceled his induction appearance at the Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame on 7/13 is because he is scheduled for an appearance that day in Los Angeles for an autograph show at  Flair has to make money.   
--C.M. Punk was granted a two-year restraining order against his mother.  Punk had claimed she was constantly harassing him.  He also had attepted to have the court ban her from attending WWE wrestling shows.  The story is at

--Tim Kennedy, while noting that a lot of great talent in MMA can barely make ends meet, apologized today for his comments about fighters salaries.  He said that Zuffa has taken better care of hiim than any other promotion, including giving him a twitter bnus.  He said, "My choice of words was poor, not properly informed, and did not match my inent.  Additionally, my comments were taken out of context."  He then apologized to Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White and Joe Silva.

--WWE Associate producer at NXT, Ryan Katz (formerly G.Q. Money) noted today that he's unloading and setting up 33,000 pounds of weights and equipment in WWE's new Performance Center that opens on 7/11.  They are having a media day that afternoon in Orlando.
--Sorry to report that Ron Killings' sister, Francetta Killings, passed away over the weekend due to cancer.  She had been battling the disease for years.   That's why Killings wasn't at TV this week.    
--Linda McMahon was announced today to be part of the International Advisory Council of APCO Worldwide.    
--Rob Black announced he is reopening XPW with the first show on 10/31 in Los Angeles.  The show will feature a 12-man tournament for the XPW title with names announced over the upcoming weeks.
--More on the War Games DVD.  While they don't edit Chris Benoit out of the 1997 War Games at Fall Brawl, they have erased a lot of the commentary.  Basically any announcing reference to Benoit done positively was erased making for long periods of silence when the match airs. (thanks to Ian Stewart) 
--The Kyle Dake vs. Jordan Burroughs match, featuring the finals of the real toughest tournament in sports, as they went through a killer field to meet in the finals of the World Team Trials is at
--Tonight on Fuel has Best of Pride at 9 p.m. and Frank Mir vs. Shane Carwin at midnight.
--More than 35,000 fans are expected to attend the UFC Fan Expo next week in Las Vegas. 
--For those attending the Fan Expo, here are some schedules
10:30 a.m. Q&A with Jay Glazer
11:30 a.m. Q&A with Dana White
12:30 p.m. Q&A with Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg
1:30 p.m. UFC Fit demonstration with Mike Dolce
2 p.m. Q&A with Bruce Buffer
3 p.m. Countdown to UFC 162 airs on the screens'
4 p.m. Weigh-ins at the Mandalay Bay Events Center
5 p.m. Q&A wth Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes
11 a.m. Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar Hall of Fame induction
12:30 p.m. Q&A with Chael Sonnen
1:30 p.m. Q&A with Ronda Rousey
2:30 p.m. UFC Gym Challenge with B.J. Penn
3 p.m. First look at new EA Sports UFC video game
TODAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops and Greame Cameron)
1935 - Danno O'Mahoney beat Jim Londos to win the National Wrestling Association world heavyweight title in Boston.  For 1935 and 1936, O'Mahoney became a record breaking drawing card, doing big matches at outdoor baseball stadiums.  Then Dick Shikat shot on him and made him submit, which ended a boom period for pro wrestling.
1966 - Eddie Graham & Killer Karl Kox beat Michiaki Yoshimura & Hiro Matsuda in Nagoya to win the All Asia tag team titles
1968 - Giant Baba beat Bobo Brazil to retain the International title 
1972 - Toru Tanaka & Mr. Fuji beat Chief Jay Strongbow & Sonny King to win the WWWF tag team titles in Philadelphia
1979 - Jim Breaks beat Steve Gray in London to win both the British lightweight and welterweight titles
1995 - Aja Kong beat Manami Toyota in Sapporo to win the WWWA title
1998 - Rob Van Dam & Sabu beat Chris Candido & Lance Storm in Philadelphia to win the ECW tag team titles
1999 - Billy Gunn beat X-Pac in the finals of the King of the Ring tournament in Greensboro  
1999 - Tatsutoshi Goto & Michiyoshi Ohara beat Kensuke Sasaki & Shiro Koshinaka to win the IWGP tag team titles
--Independent wrestler A.J. Kirsch on Larry King Live at,p0,d1 and,p0,d1
--Julia Budd has pulled out of the 7/13 Invicta PPV show due to an injury.  Charmaine Tweet of Regina, Saskatchewan (4-3) replaces her against Ediane Gomes (10-2)  Tweet is 6-feet tall, 145 pounds and 36 years old.
Anderson Silva 77.5%
Chris Weidman 22.5%
        This tells me that the UFC publicity trying to convince people Weidman is going to win and you can see the streak broken isn't believed.
SummerSlam 65.7%
UFC 164 Henderson vs. Grant 21.1%
UFC 163 Aldo vs. Zombie 13.2%
WWE title Money in the Bank match 48.9%
Okada vs. Devitt 24.7%
Cena vs. Henry 7.3%
Sakuraba vs. Nagata 4.3%
World title Money in the Bank 3.8%
Ziggler vs. Del Rio 3.2%
Goto vs. Shibata III 2.7%
Shield vs. Usos 1.9%
Devitt vs. Gedo 1.3%
Suzuki vs. Ishii 1.1%
Jericho vs. Ryback 0.8%
--Another Adam "Edge" Copeland interview at  The interview starts at the 6:30 mark (thanks to Terri Bey)
--An interview with former WWE developmental wrestler Audrey Marie is at
--ECWA with what is billed as the retirement match for Aden Chambers on 7/13 in Newark, DE at the Greater Newark Boys & Girls Club 
--3XW Downtown Destruction on 6/28 in Des Moines at the Forte Center with Jeremy Wyatt & Mark Sterling & Bradley Charles vs. Ryan Slade & A.J. Smooth & ?
--NWA Showtime All-Star Wrestling on Friday night features Vordell Walker vs. Shane Williams for the NWA National title. 
--Lion Fights on 7/26 in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for a Muay Thai show that will air on AXS TV in the Friday night at 10 p.m. Eastern time slot.
--Substance Cage Combat debuts 6/29 in Toronto at the George Bell Arena with Alex Ricci (6-1) vs. Todd Stute (4-0) 
--There is a Ray Evans Memorial show on 6/29 in Mesquite, TX at the Meadow Oaks Academy to help pay for funeral costs for Evans, who died at the age of 49 a few weeks ago.  

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?