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.
Wednesday's News Update
--Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Smackdown, Money in the Bank, Silva vs. Weidman fallout, Matt Morgan, and a lot of other news as well as taking your e-mail questions that you can send to
--Any reports of Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman II being a done deal are premature. However, Silva's side has said they are agreeable to the fight, so it's more a matter of working out details.
--Ariel Helwani will have a major MMA announcement at 11 a.m. tomorrow on the MMA Hour at MMAFighting.com It's not the announcement of a match being signed.
--TNA announced a TV taping for 9/12 at the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis.
--Fuel Tonight has UFC 141 (Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem) at 8 p.m., plus more Ultimate Fighter season five at 11 p.m.
--With XM dropping the Sixx Sense Channel, the long running "Rock of Jericho" radio show on XM is being canceled as of the end of August, with the final episode on 8/24.
--Jim Cornette and Mark James have released a book called "Rags, Paper and Pins: The Merchandising of Memphis Wrestling," which will be available at the Mid Atlantic Fan Fest 8/1 to 8/4 in Charlotte. We've got more on that in the new Observer, and Cornette talked about it on Observer radio last week.
--Fox Sports South has hired Brian Stann as its analyst for ACC college football coverage this upcoming season.
--The UFC prelims on FX on Saturday did a 1.0 rating and 1.4 million viewers. It beat everything on television, network and cable, in the Male 18-34 demo in its time slot.
--Added to the ROH title tournament are Jay Lethal and Tommaso Ciampa.
--ROH announced Adam Page has signed a contract
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1967 - Lou Albano & Tony Altomare beat Arnold Skaaland & Chuck Richards (subbing for Spyros Arion) in Atlantic City to win the WWWF U.S. tag team titles
1988 - Mike Komatsu beat Yumi Ogura in Edmonton on a Stampede Wrestling show to win the Japanese women's title.
1988 - Stan Lane & Bobby Eaton beat Tommy Rogers & Bobby Fulton in Baltimore to win the U.S. tag team titles
2001 - Jeff Hardy beat Mike Awesome to win the WWF Hardcore title in Birmingham.
--At the Waterloo Hall of Fame this weekend, there will be a Q&A panel discussion about the AWA with Larry Hennig, Baron Von Raschke, Jim Brunzell, Bob Geigel, Jake Millaman, Kenny Jay, Mick Karch, George Schire and Bill Apter as the moderator.
--The ESPN web site has a feature with a series of experts all drafting an all-time University of Oklahoma football team. Jim Ross was one of the round table of experts, and his first two picks were Sam Bradford (after Lee Roy Selmon and Adrian Peterson were taken) and Trent Williams (after Billy Sims, Roy Williams, Tony Casillas and Joe Washington were picked). Toby Rowland, not Jim Ross, picked Steve Williams as the 97th pick. Rowland also picked Wahoo McDaniel as the 117th pick. An interesting story if you're into college football.
--The Cincinnati Gardens, which featured wrestling for decades, is up for sale. It opened in 1949 and had wrestling regularly into the mid-90s. (thanks to Adam Sanders)
--From Joan Rivers: "Randy Couture? Is that a person or crotchless panties?"
--Mick Foley is performing tonight in Philadelphia at the Helium Comedy Club at 7:30 p.m. He's also got Friday and Saturday shows in South Bend at the Drop Comedy Club at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m each night. I promise, you will enjoy it.
(thanks to Jane Herrera)
--Great Canadian Wrestling from Saturday night in Oshawa, ONT: Amazing Darkstone b Hardcore Hick, Oblijic Thundercloud b Maurice, The Compunt b Evil Little Elves, Kaitlyn Diamond b Skylar Rose, Andrew Davis b Jake O'Reilly, Mike Rollins b Vince Valor, Tomer Shalom b Mike Rollins, D-Man b Jewels Malone-COR, Bruno Davis b Buck Gunderson-DQ, Andrew Davis won Battle Royal. Next show is 8/3 with Bruno Davis vs. Buck Gunderson no holds barred and Robbie McAllister defends the Canadian title against Andrew Davis, plus a women's tournament (thanks to Steven Ashe)
--OVW tapes TV tonight at the Davis Arena in Louisville at 6:30 p.m.
--FMLL on 7/13 in Denver at the National Western Complex has El Hijo de Rey Misterio & Mascara Sagrada & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs. Blue Demon Jr. & L.A. Park & Tinieblas Jr. El Hijo del Santo, who is injured, will be appearing at the show.
--Promociones Salinas on 7/14 in McAllen, TX at the Fuego Western Club has El Hijo del Medico Asesino defending the FILL heavyweight title against Dr. Wagner III.
--The next Tijuana show is 7/26 at the Auditorio with Atlantis vs. Ultimo Guerrero and Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs. Cien Caras Jr. (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--Leilaini Kai and Susan Green have been added to the Mid Atlantic Wrestling Legends Fanfest on 8/1 to 8/4 in Charlotte.
--WWE and Doritos are doing a promotion that includes a SummerSlam viewing party and a chance to interview a WWE performer on the WWE app. For details you can go to www.unleashthewwe.com
The promotion runs through 7/21. You can also go to www.Facebook.com/Doritos
WHAT WAS THE BEST OF THESE RECENT SHOWS?
WWE Payback 37.2%
UFC 162 22.3%
New Japan Dominion 21.9%
TNA Slammiversary 9.5%
New Japan 7/5 4.5%
ROH Best in the World 2.5%
Dragon Gate 7/4 1.2%
UFC 161 0.8%
WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND?
WWE Money in the Bank 65.8%
29.8% are planning on watching neither
WHICH OF THESE FIGHTS DO YOU SEE AS THE BIGGEST?
Silva vs. Weidman II 80.6%
Rousey vs. Tate 10.0%
GSP vs. Hendricks 9.4%
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW?
Bray Wyatt 38.1%
Daniel Bryan 33.1%
Vickie Guerrero 17.2%
Mark Henry 6.5%
C.M. Punk 2.2%
Stephanie McMahon 1.1%
Vince McMahon 0.7%
Damien Sandow 0.4%
Randy Orton 0.2%
POLL ON RAW
11.3% of those responding didn't see the show
--All Star Wrestling Summer Heat on Saturday night in Lewisburg, TN at Marshall County High School has Tony Atlas and Tito Santana appearing.
--Reader Rich Koz's, who does the Svengoolie horror shot on Me-TV, is doing Saturday night's show from The Squared Circle restaurant in Chicago, which is Lisa Varon's (Tara in TNA) restaurant with the pro wrestling theme. They will be airing a Lucha Libre movie and then the show. Jerry Lawler and Justin Roberts are both fans of the show.
--Steve Artoff, who fought on the 6/19 Bellator show in Thackerville, OK, tested positive for marijuana. It would be the first positive on a Bellator show, which runs at a lot of Native American casinos where the testing isn't nearly as comprehensive as in major commission states.
--Main Event Wrestling presents the California Cup on Sunday at 7 p.m. in Fresno. First round matches have TJ Perkins vs. Timothy Thatcher, Nick Jackson vs. Drake Younger, Matt Jackson vs. Adam Thornstowe and Brian Cage vs. Johnny Gargano.
--Big Time Wrestling on 7/19 in Newark, CA at the Newark Pavilion with Shoichi Funaki from Japan, the Ballard Brothers, Winter and a special appearance by The Sheik.
--SHINE returns to iPPV on Friday night from Ybor City, FL. A video promoting the show is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ua-8lJLYjgE
There is a one-night tournament to crown a champion with Saraya Knight, Jessicka Havoc, Rain, Mercedes Martinez, Nikki Roxx, LuFisto, Su Yung, Leva, Mia Yim, Santana Garrett, Amazing Kong, Ivelisse Velez, Angelina Love and Kimberly.
--For Dragon Gate USA on 7/27 in Queens, NY, the Young Bucks & Ricochet vs. Cima & AR Fox & Tomahawk TT will be 2/3 falls with the first fall having two refs and strictly enforced tags, the second Lucha style no tags, and third will be a TLC match. Also Johnny Gargano vs. Rich Swann in a non-title grudge match, Akira Tozawa vs. Anthony Nese, Trent Baretta vs. Eita, plus Chuck Taylor vs. Jon Davis in a Bunkhouse match.
--Antonio McKee vs. Lewis Gonzalez and Lew Polley vs. Hans Stringer have been added to the 8/10 World Series of Fighting show in Ontario, CA on NBC Sports Network. The main event is kickboxer Tyrone Spong vs. Angel deAnda.
--CMLL from Monday night in Puebla: Fresbee & Asturiano b Espanto Jr. & Blue Center, Stigma & Robin & Tigre Rojo Jr. & Leono & Pegasso Extreme b Siki Ozama I & Disturbio & Espiritu Maligno & Escandalo & Inquisodor via DQ in an elimination match, Triton & Bushiroad & Diamante b Virus & Raziel & Cancerbero, Dragon Rojo Jr. & Rey Escorpion & Polvora b Titan & Stuka Jr. & La Mascara, Atlantis & Shocker & Diamante Azul b Mr. Niebla & Pierroth & Ultimo Guerrero-DQ
--CMLL from Tuesday in Guadalajara: Mr. Trueno & Rey Trueno b Metatron & Virgo, Rafaga & Escandalo & Arkangel de la Muerte b Stigma & Super Halcon Jr. & Leo, Goya Kong b Princesa Blanca, Brazo de Plata & Gallo & Guerrero Maya Jr. b Psicosis & Olimpico & Sangre Azteca, Mephisto & Felino & Volador Jr. b Shocker & Valiente & Mistico (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner)
--Traditional Championship Wrestling on 8/3 in Fort Smith, AR with Matt Hardy, Zach Gowen and Trevor Murdoch with his new name Murdock.