Also in this week's issue:
--Promotion loses U.S. television after nearly two decades
--CMLL's Champion of Champions tournament notes
--List of possible entrants
--35th anniversary of legend's debut show coming next month to Arena Mexico
--Next Cage of death show for CMLL
--Notes from Arena Mexico
--Busca de un Idolo finals
--Notes from most recent AAA TV taping
--Dragon Gate's next live iPPV lineup
--Notes from the first live iPPV show from Dragon Gate
--Dragon Gate's next major Tokyo show
--Future of All Japan Pro Wrestling
--Notes on the debut of Keiji Muto's new World 1 wrestling promotion
--Giant main event for DDT's show at Sumo Hall
--Legends Pro Wrestling next cards
--Update on Buck Zumhofe's legal troubles
--More on the shooting outside Colt Cabana's comedy show in Vancouver
--Notes on Jim Cornette's new book about the history of merchandising wrestling in Tennessee
--What would have been one of the biggest pro wrestling matches in history from a mainstream standpoint that was being talked about when one of the participants suddenly died before the match took place
--George Clooney and Stacy Keibler notes
--More on the Flair/Piper wife swap show
--Former WWF wrestler pleads guilty to participation in a gangland slaying
--Major star out with hernia operation
--WWL's talent loaded show in Mexico
--Politicians proposing law to tone down pro wrestling in Pennsylvania
--PWG's anniversary show notes
--Update on Bobby Eaton
--An update on Bushwhacker Luke Williams and his new company
--The Destroyer Dick Beyer and his new company
--80s star in a zombie movie
--ROH title tournament update
--Notes on more ROH contracts expiring and notes from an interview by them
--ROH WrestleMania weekend shows for next year
--ROH star gets married to another wrestler
--Note on ROH star appearing on Raw
--Story behind Matt Morgan's release from TNA
--Morgan's background and how he got here
--Notes on several other TNA cuts and why
--What the deal was with developmental talent
--New TNA TV deals
--How the company handled the Brooke Hogan engagement
--Update on the Bound for Glory series
--A look at TNA's weekend house shows
--Dana White talks Roy Jones Jr.
--More on the next season of Ultimate Fighter
--UFC plans for the rest of the year
--More on UFC TV plans with the move to Fox Sports 1
--UFC's promotional plans starting in a few weeks
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Major UFC event planned for Mexico television
--UFC fighter plea bargains in an assault case
--Update on Nick Diaz
--Update on Dan Hardy
--Werdum issues challenge and why the match isn't the right one to make
--Notes on a major brawl at a gas station involving a former UFC fighter
--Biggest Bellator show in history
--Notes for the Invicta show
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.
Saturday's News Update
--As of today, there were no major changes in the script for Money in the Bank from original plans. It was strongly hinted to me that something would be done on the show to build for Raw on Monday. There is concern about Home Run Derby hurting the ratings so they want something big on the show. Plus, it's the kickoff to SummerSlam promotion.
--I've got stories on Marloes Coenen and an interview with promoter Shannon Knapp on tonight's Invicta show at www.mmafighting.com
--Regarding weigh-in and other issues tonight, the scheduled Veronica Rothenhausler vs. Mollie Estes fight is off as Rothenhausler was not medically cleared, which is likely a weight cutting issue at the last minute. Livia von Plettenberg was scheduled to face Cassie Robb at 105 pounds. She only got down to 113 and then started rehydrating. Instead, she will face Kathina Catron (an alternate at 125). Jessica Penne was 106.3 at weigh-ins for her fight with Nicdali Rivera-Calanic. But she made weight after weight-ins, which was cutting to 106.0
--Robert Maillet (Kurrgan) did a man on the street segment with Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday night. Boy, that sounds spontaneous, doesn't it, a random guy on the street who happens to be in a movie opening the next day?
--I didn't see "Grown Ups 2" yet, but heard Steve Austin did a good job as a bully from the groups past. One friend from San Jose who saw it said the crowd popped big for Austin's first appearance.
--Robert Maillet was in "Pacific Rim," which also opened last night. According to Michael O'Brien, his job was to look Russian and imposing, and he nailed it.
--The two movies were the two highest grossing last night, with Grown Ups 2 finishing a surprising first (it was expected to finish second) at $16.3 million and Pacific Rim as a disappointment doing $14.62 million. Grown Ups 2 is predicted to finish at between $44 million and $46 million in its opening weekend. Pacific Rim is expected to do in the $37 million to $41 million range.
--John Cena is scheduled on Kelly & Michael on Monday. The feeling is that means he's keeping the title, which was the plan two weeks ago, but anything can happen.
--A press release for Total Divas lists, besides the women, John Cena (Nikki Bella's boyfriend), Daniel Bryan (Brie Bella's boyfriend), Jimmy Uso (Naomi's boyfriend), Tyson Kidd (Natalya's boyfriend who the series builds up to their wedding), Fandango (who will have a relationship with Natalie Nelson, who uses the Eva Marie name she got in modeling), Great Khali and Hornswoggle as cast members. The show acts like the Bellas vs. Naomi & Cameron's feud is a shoot.
--The annual summer NBC special WWE is contracted to have on 8/3 at 9 p.m. will be the John Cena vs. Rock match at WrestleMania. This goes head-to-head with a weak UFC PPV show from Brazil. Well, actually it'll go in most markets against the FX prelims.
HOW MANY NORTH AMERICAN BUYS DO YOU THINK MONEY IN THE BANK WILL DO?
Under 80,000 11.8%
More than 181,000 6.6%
WILL DESTINATION X DO AN ABOVE AVERAGE TNA RATING?
SHOULD NEW JAPAN DO MULTIPLE IPPVS PER MONTH?
No, it will burn out the audience 86.9%
Yes, you have the option to pick and choose 13.1%
POLL ON IMPACT
33.1% of those responding didn't see the show
--Ion Kroitoru (Johnny K-9), a former WWF and Smoky Mountain wrestler from Ontario, most recently from British Columbia, is expected to be sentenced on Monday for conspiracy to murder a group of rival gang leaders in gang warfare in the province. He's expected to be sentenced to between 11 and 14 years in prison.
--Shawn Michaels is currently in Africa filming his MacMillan River Adventures hunting show. The show airs every Tuesday at 11:30 p.m. on The Outdoor Channel as well as Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Mondays at 8 a.m. All times are Eastern.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1936 - Yvon Robert beat Danno O'Mahoney in Montreal to win the AWA title
1979 - Dick Murdoch beat Dick the Bruiser in St. Louis to win the Missouri State title
1982 - Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito beat Chief Jay & Jules Strongbow to win the WWF tag titles in Allentown
1984 - Giant Baba beat Stan Hansen to win the PWF title
1989 - Riki Choshu & Takayuki Iizuka (now Takashi Iizuka) beat Super Strong Machine & George Takano to win the IWGP tag team titles in Tokyo. Amazing that 24 years later, Iizuka is going for the same belts next week on PPV. This was considered a huge upset at the time
1991 - Lightning Kid (Sean Waltman) beat Jerry Lynn in Dallas to win the GWF light heavyweight title tournament and become the first champion
1992 - Ricky Morton beat Eddie Gilbert in Memphis to win the USWA title
1995 - Shinya Hashimoto & Junji Hirata (Super Strong Machine without the mask) beat Scott Norton & Mike Enos to win the IWGP tag team titles, while on the same show, Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit) beat Shinjiro Otani to win the Super Juniors tournament.
1996 - Shane Douglas won a four-way over Chris Jericho, Too Cold Scorpio and Pitbull #2 to winthe ECW TV title in Philadelphia
1998 - Kane & Mankind beat Road Dogg & Billy Gunn to win the WWF tag titles in East Rutherford, NJ
--Pro Wrestling NOAH's annual junior heavyweight G+ Cup tournament begins tomorrow at noon (late tonight our time) at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo with Shiori Asahi & Hiro Tonai from K-Dojo vs. Roderick Strong (ROH) & Slex (Australia), Yoshinari Ogawa & Zack Sabre Jr. (England) vs. Daisuke Harada & Atsushi Kumano, Genba Hirayanagi & Maybach Suwa Jr. vs. Super Crazy & Ricky Marvin and Taiji Ishimori & Atsushi Kotoge vs. Pesadilla & Dual Force from Mexico. The tournament continues through 7/28.
--In the weekly cable ratings for last week, USA finished first with an average of 2.75 million viewers in prime time. FX was No., 8 with 1.36 million, meaning the UFC prelims did exactly average. Actually given Saturday is expected to do well below average, that meant UFC prelims did well, especially in the key demos, especially Males 18-49 where it beat everything on TV head-to-head. Syfy was No. 18 at 1.00 million, so Smackdown does more than double the average on a bad night. Spike was No. 20 at 834,000. The three hours of Raw last week were No. 5, No. 7, No. 8. The only shows to beat hour two were Rizzoli & Isles on TNT, Major Crimes on TNT and NASCAR on TNT and its post race show. In 18-49, one hour finished No. 5, one finished No. 10 and the first hour wasn't in the top ten.
--The Resurrection Fighting Alliance announced an 8/16 show on AXS TV headlined by Pedro Munhoz vs Keoni Koch, both undefeated, going for the RFA bantamweight title. Anderson Silva's manager, Ed Soares, heads the RFA. The show will be from the StubHub Center in Los Angeles and tickets are on sale now. Kevin Casey vs. Casey Ryan and 2008 Olympian and two-time NCAA heavyweight champion Steve Mocco faces former K-1 fighter James Wilson.
--The first-ever MMA show in Bangor, ME last night, promoted by New England Fights, drew nearly 4,000 fans to Darling's Waterfront Pavilion for a show featuring all local fighters. Ray Wood won the featherweight title with a guillotine submission in the first round over Lenny Wheeler.
--CZW airs tonight on iPPV from Voorhees, NJ at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time at www.RFVideoNow.com
--UFC 141 airs tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern on Fuel. That's the Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem PPV. The Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping show from 1/19 in Brazil will air on Fuel tonight at 1 a.m.
--John Cena and the Bella Twins will be at the Wizard World comic convention in November in Austin, TX. (thanks to Pete Schirmacher)
--Impact Pro Wrestling from Wednesday night in Donnellson, IA: Marshall Scott b Matty Star, Trueno Latino b Aaron Von Baron, Big Picture b Sparrow, Miss Frankie b Kiandra, A.J. Smooth & Ryan Slade b Justin Decent & Ugly, Ricky Love b James Jeffries. (thanks to Anton Kazelichiki)
--Platinum Championship Wrestling on 7/20 in Porterdale, GA at 2001 Main St.
--Empire Wrestling Federation tonight in San Bernardino at MC Sports with the Von Dooms vs. Fallen Empir.
--NWA Smoky Mountain Wrestling tapes TV tonight in Elizabethton, TN at Happy Valley High School.
--NECW on 8/3 in Beverly, MA with Clash at the Cove from the Cove Community Center is headlined by Antonio Thomas vs. Sean Burke and Slyck Wagner Brown vs. Bobby Ocean.
--Amazing Kong comes to BANG on 8/2 in Ocala, FL a the BANG Sound Stage.
--DPW from last night in Glen Carbon, IL: Jake Parnell b Jackal, Ken Kasa b Alexandre Rudolph, Dave Vaughn b Outtkast, K.C. Karrington & Adam Raw b Jack Adonis & Mike Sharona, Jake Dirden (back from NOAH) b Billy McNeil & Dash Rando in a handicap match, Kevin X b Shawn Santel, Steven Kennedy b Nikki Strychnine, Dan Walsh b Ricky Cruz (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
--SHINE title tournament results from last night's iPPV from Ybor City, FL
LuFisto won four-way over Mercedes Martinez, Nikki Roxx and Su Yung
Ivelisse Velez won four-way over Amazing Kong, Angelina Love and Kimberly
Jessicka Havok b Saraya Knight-DQ
Mia Yim b Leva Bates
Rain b LuFisto
Ivelisse Velez b Santana Garrett
Rain b Jessicka Havok-COR
Mia Yim b Ivelisse Velez
Rain b Mia Yim to win title.
Next show is 8/23. We were told that some people had problems with the iPPV. Martin Bentley, who reported for us said he only had one buffering issue during the show.
--Premier Championship Wrestling from last night in Winnipeg: One night Premier Cup tournament: Kenny Omega b Jackie Lee, Chad Tatum b James Beaver, Antonio Scorpio b Leo London, Mike Angels b Scott Justice, Kenny Omega & Chris Stevens b Jay Walker & Abel Wolfe, David London b Mark Merrick Massive Damage b Adam Knight, Mike Angels won Premier Cup tournament over Omega, Scorpio and Tatum. Next show is 8/24 with Steve Corino & Adam Knight vs. Mike Angels & Chad Tatum plus promoter Andrew Shallcross vs. Mike Arnott in a no holds barred match.