Also in this week's issue:
--Notes on the IWGP IC title being defended at Arena Mexico
--Update on major Mexico match upcoming
--Atlantis special show
--TV ratings in Mexico notes
--Cibernetico after his head being shaved
--Notes on the Dragon Gate live iPPV this week
--NOAH's big event of the week
--Update on the New Japan G-1 Climax tournament
--New Japan's September PPV date
--Former WWE developmental wrestler arrested and stripped of his small promotion title
--Notes on this year's Fire Festival
--Next IGF show lineup featuring former WWE, K-1 and Pride shows all on the same bill
--More on the investigation reopening in the Nancy Argentino death
--What Jimmy Snuka said about the situation
--Lots more on activities during next year's WrestleMania week
--Lots of thoughts about what Sandra Toffoloni said regarding Chris Benoit killing her sister
--More on Benoit's physical and mental condition at the time of his death
--How Benoit never failed a steroid test
--Media reaction at the time
--Thoughts on Celebrity Wife Swap with Roddy Piper and Ric Flair
--New promotion gets national TV deal
--Who the promotion is going to bring in
--Update on a promotion that disappeared
--Update on the Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame weekend
--Former TNA star places in major bikini competition
--More notes on what may be the biggest indie match of 2013
--Where are they now regarding a 60s and 70s star
--A look at a major weekend show
--Update on the ROH title situation
--Update on the Briscoes contract
--ROH wrestler talks about working for the promotion
--Was the booking a good idea to not beat Jay Briscoe on the way out
--First ROH shows since Briscoes are gone
--Another major ROH star whose contract is expiring in a few weeks
--Notes on TNA's hiring of John Gaburick
--What will be Gaburick's role in TNA
--Reaction from those in WWE
--What former WWE star is being talked with by TNA
--Why Sting was featured on Raw this week
--Update on the Main Event Mafia short and long-term
--Rampage Jackson talks pro wrestling training
--Should he have been put in the Main Event Mafia
--Bound for Glory series update
--Update on TNA cuts
--Update on TNA weddings
--Update on TNA house shows
--Anderson Silva talks Jon Jones
--Thoughts on Weidman vs. Silva and the promotion of the fight
--Advanced ticket sales for upcoming UFC shows
--Tim Kennedy apologizes for complaining about pay
--Dana White responds to Tim Kennedy
--Changes for Chael Sonnen
--How much it would cost UFC to not pay anyone less than $20,000 per fight
--Tim Kennedy talks TRT
--Tryouts for upcoming TNA tapings
--A look back at one of the most important early fights in UFC history
--UFC star convicted and sentenced
--What put UFC on the map
--Should Bonnar go into the Half of Fame
--Rashad Evans throws hat into the ring
--T.J. Grant mad at Anthony Pettis and why
--Dana White likes to have UFC in his former home town
--Notes on a movie fund raiser
--New UFC fights
--Notes on Mayweather vs. Alvarez and why it can be one of the biggest PPV shows in history
--Spike bringing in a new promotion
--Fighting legend retires
--Update on Bobby Lashley
--Future of Lashley
--Stephen Espinoza of Showtime talks about MMA's future
--UFC ref sentenced to three plus years in prison
--Gilbert Yvel and retirement
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.
Thursday's News Update
--Hope everyone has a Happy 4th of July.
--UFC held a press conference today for Saturday's fight. Nothing major out of the ordinary. Dana White said Roy Jones Jr. would be at ringside for the main event. He was hinting at trying to sign Jones Jr. vs. Anderson Silva in a boxing match.
--White said the advance is 12,400 tickets sold for $4.26 million. Of that, more than $3 million worth of tickets were sold to the public. While tickets did not move at the pace of last year's Silva vs. Sonnen (nor should anyone have expected them to), they will ahead of the pace all along of the past few Las Vegas shows.
--UFC Tonight airs at 8 p.m. tonight on Fuel, followed by Ultimate Insider at 8:30 p.m., Countdown to UFC 162 at 9 p.m. and Nate Diaz vs. Marcus Davis at 10 p.m.
--The UFC Fan Expo runs tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mandalay Bay Hotel Convention Center
This is the schedule for tomorrow
10:30 a.m. Q&A with Jay Glazer
11:30 a.m. Q&A with Dana White
12:30 a.m. Q&A with Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan
1:30 a.m. Q&A with Mike Dolce
2 p.m. Q&A with Bruce Buffer
3 p.m. UFC 162 Countdown special airs at the Events Center
4 p.m. Weigh-ins
5 p.m. Q&A with Matt Hughes and Chuck Liddell
11 a.m. Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin Hall of Fame induction
Noon Unveiling of the UFC Fan App powered by Metro PCBS
12:30 p.m. Q&A with the newly married Chael Sonnen - Ask him his advice on putting together a wedding
1:30 a.m. Q&A with Ronda Rousey
3 p.m. First look at the EA Sports UFC video game
--There is also a Tuff N Uff MMA show from the South Pointe Arena on Friday night. There is a pre-party with live music at 5:30 p.m..
--As it turned out the two hour Main Event block last night saw the previous week's show at 7 p.m. followed by a new show at 8 p.m.
--KENTA, Yoshihiro Takayama and Katsuyori Shibata were all in the front row at today's WWE house show in Tokyo. Chris Jericho, who was very popular since he was a star in Japan long before WWE, got into it with Takayama during the Jericho vs. Antonio Cesaro match.
--USA Network was No. 1 in prime time cable last week averaging 2.68 million viewers for the week to 2.37 million for TNT. FX was No. 13 at 1.31 million, Syfy was No. 19 at 1.03 million and Spike was No. 23 at 791,000. The three hours of Raw were No. 6, No. 9 and No. 11 overall. However, none of the hours were top ten in the key demos.
--The E! web site has a story on Natalie Neidhart's marriage to T.J. Wilson, which will air at some point on the Total Divas TV show, with an interview with Neidhart.
--C.M. Punk is booked on the 7/13 house show in Trenton, NJ.
--About 10,000 fans attended L.A. Live in Los Angeles for a promotion for the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Canelo Alvarez fight on Tuesday night. Oscar De La Hoys said he believed this fight would break all PPV records, be the greatest fight in the history of the sport, and that Canelo would win.
--WWE is looking for a new writers assistant. Minimum one year of TV writing or production experience and strong product knowledge is a requirement. The job includes assisting with directing taped and live vignettes as well as promos, typing and distributing scripts, taking meeting notes, pitching story ideas, maintaining story board schedule, running errands (getting food for the writers and bigwigs), liaison to WWE Global media, faxing, photocopying filing, etc.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1966 - Don Leo Jonathan & Haystacks Calhoun beat John Tolos & Tough Tony Borne to win the Canadian Open tag team titles in Vancouver
1974 - The first pro wrestling title ever won by Ric Flair was on this date at the Greensboro Coliseum when Flair & Rip Hawk beat Paul Jones & Bob Bruggers for the Mid Atlantic tag team title
1975 - Perro Aguayo beat Ringo Mendoza in a tournament final in Mexico City to win the NWA middleweight title
1982 - In a landmark match at the Omni in Atlanta, Ric Flair, the NWA champion, went to a double count out with Bob Backlund, the WWF champion. The match was said to be a disappointment.
1983 - In Fort Worth before 12,000 fans, David Von Erich beat Jimmy Garvin to win the Texas title and Kevin & Kerry & David Von Erich beat Michael Hayes & Terry Gordy & Buddy Roberts in the main event in one of the year's best matches
1984 - In Forth Worth, again before 12,000 fans, Hayes & Gordy & Roberts beat Kerry & Kevin & Mike Von Erich to win the World six-man tag team titles in another match of the year candidate
1986 - Buzz Sawyer beat Brian Adias in Fort Worth to win the Texas title. This was the night Kerry Von Erich messed up his bad foot even worse
1987 - The first ever War Games before nearly 16,000 fans at the Omni in Atlanta saw Dusty Rhodes & Nikita Koloff & Road Warriors & Paul Ellering beat Ric Flair & Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson & Lex Luger & J.J. Dillon)
1989 - Danny Collins beat Fit Finlay in Croydon to win the British heavyweight title
1990 - John Tatum beat Bill Dundee in Dallas to win the Southern title
1995 - Fuerza Guerrera & Blue Panther & Psicosis beat Rey Misterio Jr. & Super Muneco & Octagon to win the Mexican national trios titles in Mexico City
1997 - Felino beat El Hijo del Santo in Mexico City to win the WWA welterweight title
--Jerry Jarrett will be attending the Mid Atlantic Wrestling Legends Fanfest on 8/1 to 8/4 in Charlotte to induct Ricky Morton, Robert Gibson, Jim Cornette, Bobby Eaton, Dennis Condrey and Stan Lane into their Hall of Heroes. Also being honored are Les Thatcher, Magnum T.A., Danny Miller and Lars Anderson. Tommy Young was also announced as being there along with Tommy Angel, Assassin Jody Hamilton, Susan Green, Rocky & Don Kernodle, Moondog Rex and the Mulkey Brothers.
--Barry Windham turned 53 today.
--A lot of deaths and tragedies today. Brutus Beefcake had his parasailing accident on this date. Adrian Adonis and The Kelly Twins died in an auto accident on this date in 1988. Davey Boy Smith, Chris Benoit, Ross Hart and Karl Moffat were in a bad auto accident on this day in 1989. Smith, who wasn't wearing a seat belt, needed 135 stitches after his head went through the windshield and he was thrown 25 feet, landing on pavement. All were injured with Moffat suffering serious injuries. Joey Marella died in an car accident on this date in 1994 at the age of 30.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST NEWS STORY OF JUNE?
Death of Jackie Fargo 24.9%
Briscoe future in ROH 13.6%
Death of Matt Osborne 12.1%
All Japan split 11.8%
Daniel Bryan/HHH backstage story 10.3%
WWE Paydirt show 9.7%
Ziggler/Del Rio double turn 8.2%
New Japan Dominion show 4.4%
Smackdown hits record ratings lows 2.1%
Writing staff changes in WWE 1.5%
Bellator programming starts low on Wednesday 0.8%
Bellator announces move to Fridays in the fall 0.8%
WHO DO YOU EXPECT TO WIN THE MITB MATCH?
Daniel Bryan 72.5%
C.M. Punk 9.6%
Randy Orton 4.7%
WHO DO YOU EXPECT TO WIN THE MITB MATCH?
Dean Ambrose 39.2%
Antonio Cesaro 25.6%
Wade Barrett 16.2%
Damien Sandow 4.7%
Jack Swagger 4.3%
Cody Rhodes 2.8%
WHO DO YOU EXPECT TO WIN THIS FIGHT?
Frankie Edgar 86.6%
Charles Oliveira 13.4%
--Brian Kendrick returns to ROH on the 8/3 show in Toronto. He will be part of the 16-man tournament for the vacant ROH title.
--FSCW tonight at the Miami Airport Convention Center at the Main Events Stage.
--GOUGE has shows at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. tonight at the corner of Hargett St. and Fayetteville St. in Raleigh.
--John Layfield said that the Washington Redskins should get a new nickname, saying it's derogatory, a slur and that no team should be allowed to use it.
--Fight Card Entertainment on 7/20 in Cicero, IL at the Cicero Stadium with Danny Morales vs. Maurice Jackson.