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.
SUNDAY NEWS, NOTES AND LINKS
--Last night's audio show
with Mike Sempervive was not our usual monthly show. We did it as a special largely because of the Weidman vs. Silva announcement and Invicta, as more of a late news bonus show. We will be doing our longer show with the heavy emphasis on Q&A on Sunday after the New Japan show.
--Tonight's WWE Money in the Bank show is legitimately sold out. RVD T-shirts are on sale at the show. Well, they should have them.
--For those on the West Coast, the New Japan iPPV starts at 11 p.m. Saturday night our time, so it's actually managable to watch it live.
--Regarding Ultimate Warrior, there is no deal with WWE but a deal with 2K Sports. Warrior is not scheduled on Raw Monday at this point and I don't expect that to change, although I'll bet with the MLB Home Run Derby happening on ESPN, the company will be thrilled to get viewers who hear about the news the next day or two who think he'll be there. However, expect tomorrow a whole lot of talk about Warrior all over social media.
--Georges St-Pierre did a TV commercial for Fox Sports 1 that debuts Tuesday night at the Major League Baseball All-Star game.
--Grown Ups 2 ended up in second place to Despicable Me 2 in the weekend box office with an estimate of $42.5 million. Steve Austin is in the movie. Pacific Rim was No. 3 at $38.3 million. The latter had a $190 million budget while the former had an $80 million budget, so the latter is something of a bomb.
--TMZ reported today that Jacqueline Beems, the ex-wife of Ric Flair, has a warrant out against her for a series of harassing phone calls she allegedly made in October to Wendy Barlow Kidder, Flair's current girlfriend.
--Fuel has the Nogueira vs. Werdum show from Brazil at 6 p.m. today, followed by Ultimate Fighter season five from 9-11 p.m. and the Randy Couture vs. James Toney fight at 1 a.m. Eastern.
--In bonuses from last night's Invicta show, Leslie Smith vs. Jennifer Maia got fight of the night, Jessica Penne got best submission and Miriam Nakamoto got best knockout. Biggest crowd reactions were to Bec Hyatt, Rose Namajunas, Cyborg Santos, Jessica Penne and Leslie Smith.
The talk was the next Invicta show would be in October. Talk of Cyborg vs. Ediane Gomes as a main event, but that is not official. (thanks to Steve Juon)
--Eric Young's show airs tonight on Animal Planet.
--The George Tragos/Lou Thesz Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame induction ceremony was last night in Waterloo. Edge accepted his own award. Jim Ross accepted the award for Bill Watts while Gerald Brisco accepted for Ric Flair, who did an autograph show in California. Matt Hughes was given an award and did a short speech, saying he was a pro wrestling fan as a kid. Brian Shields did a great presentation on WWE history and his books, talking a lot about Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan, and showed the first-ever WWF Magazine, Wrestling's Action, written by George Napolitano. There was also an AWA Q&A.
--For old AWA fans, Jake "The Milkman" Milliman, the perennial job guy, was at the Q&A and at 63, wrestled on Friday night in Waterloo, even doing a headbutt off the middle rope. (thanks to Pat Laprade)
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops and Graeme Cameron)
- 1966 - The Viking & Dandy Jack Donovan beat Cowboy Bob Ellis & The Stomper (Archie Gouldie) to win the North American tag team titles in Kansas City
- 1978 - Dick the Bruiser beat Dick Murdoch in St. Louis to win the Missouri state title
- 1984 - Ted DiBiase beat The Spoiler in Macon, GA to win the National heavyweight title
- 1985 - Aristotle I beat El Hijo del Santo in Mexico City to win the UWA lightweight title
- 1986 - Harley Race beat Pedro Morales in Foxboro, MA to win the King of the ring
- 1991 - Lex Luger beat Barry Windham at the Great American Bash in a cage match to win the WCW title in Baltimore to headline a horrible show, as in one that became legendary for how bad it was.
- 1992 - Jimmy Snuka beat Johnny Hot Body in Philadelphia to be an early ECW champion
- 1997 - Steve Austin & Dude Love (Mick Foley) beat Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith in San Antonio in the finals of a tournament to become the WWF tag team champions
- 1998 - D-Lo Brown beat HHH in Binghamton to win the European title
- 2011 - Sting won the TNA title from Ken Anderson
--Roddy Piper was the subject of a Biography Channel show The Haunting of last night. Piper claimed he had been haunted by visits from Adrian Adonis, and he was visibly upset, saying he was like a brother to him (thanks to Ken Motley).
--Fast and Furious 6 was No. 9 in Australia at the box office this weekend.
--MEW tonight in Fresno at the Fairgrounds Mineral Building at 7 p.m.
IF YOU BUY UFC PPVS, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON INVICTA?
Would watch for free, won't pay $14.95 35.3%
Not watching because I don't know the fighters 18.0%
Will not watch non-UFC MMA 14.3%
Watching, have seen past shows and liked them 10.5%
Not watching, will not watch women shows 9.8%
Watching because they are finally on TV 8.3%
Watching because of the main event 3.8%
WHO IS THE BIGGEST COMBAT SPORTS STAR?
The Rock 56.3%
Floyd Mayweather 18.6%
C.M. Punk 4.8%
Manny Pacquiao 3.6%
Brock Lesnar 2.7%
John Cena 2.5%
Anderson Silva 2.0%
Jon Jones 1.1%
Randy Orton 1.1%
WHO DO YOU EXPECT TO WIN THIS UFC FIGHT?
Benson Henderson 67.6%
Anthony Pettis 32.4%
WHO DO YOU EXPECT TO WIN THIS UFC FIGHT?
Mark Munoz 50.8%
Michael Bisping 49.2%
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF SMACKDOWN?
34.6% of those responding didn't see the show
--Nick Lane has contacted us. He does a 50s and 60s music radio show in San Diego and got a caller asking about Sam my Longoria, who sang as Little Julian Herrera and the caller said he was also a pro wrestler in San Diego. Does anyone recognize either of these names?
--Mid Missouri Wrestilng Alliance from last night in St. Louis: Brandon Espinosa b Raphael King-DQ, A.J. Williams won three-way over Andrew Wilder and J-Mal Swgg, Jack Gamble & Jon Webb b Dark Shadows & Flaming Freddie Fury, Brandon Espinosa & Ace Hawkins b Dave Osborne & Raphael king, Jimmy D b Brian James (not Road Dogg), Tom Prichard & Gary Jackson b Phil E. Blunt & Mephisto (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
--Lucha Xtreme TV from last night in Fresno from the matches from the ballpark: Al Azar b Kevin El Devino, Suburban Commandos b Wiseguy & Mike Rayne, Brian Tannen b JR Kratos-DQ. Manny Fernandez tried to help Tannen. Terry Funk doing commentary went after Fernandez and threw a chair to Kratos, who used it on Tannen for the DQ. Funk chased Tannen and Fernandez from ringside. Well, more they ran from Funk with a chair. Funk said to be very entertaining doing the commentary. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--Anarchy Wrestling from last night in Cornelia, GA: Kevin Blue b Tommy Penirelli, CB Suave b Brandon Parker, Cody Hall (Scott's son) b Adrian Hawkins, Azreal b Jagged Edge, Mike Posey & Corey Hollis b Joey Rhymer & BJ Hancock, Anthony Henry b Wade Adams, Shadow Jackson & Nemesis b Mikal Judas & Brodie Chas, Jeremy Vain won three-way over Shaun Tempers and Geter to keep the Anarchy title. Tempers vs. Geter headlines on 7/27 with all wrestlers barred from ringside with the winner getting a shot at Vain's title.
--CZW iPPV from last night in Voorhees, NJ: Shane Hollister over Rory Mondo, Dark Sheik, Caleb Konley, Ron Mthis and Dave Crist to get a CZW title shot (great opener) Andrew Everett b Greg Excellent, BLK OUT b Eric Ryan & Dustin Rayz to keep the CZW tag titles, Shane Strickland b Alex Colon, Joe Gacy over Devon Moore and Matt Tremont in a three-way, Drew Gulak b Tommy Dreamer to get a CZW title shot, Alex Reynolds & John Silver b Azrael & Bandido Jr., AR Fox b Biff Busick, Masada b Chris Dickinson. Masada was hurting. Next show is Friday, a benefit to pay for Masada's needed knee surgery. Next iPPV is 8/10 from Voorhees.
--Dreamwave Wrestling from last night in LaSalle, IL: Justice Jones b Jeff O'Shea, Lince Dorado b Jason Hades, Reed Bentley b Dan Lawrence, Pride b The Beck Family, Marshe Rockett b Chris Castro, Rick & Scott Steiner won four-way over Arya Daivari & Vic Capri, Alex Castle & Marcus Crane and Zero Gravity, Matt Cage b Nick Brubaker, Chrisitan Rose d Prince Mustafa Ali. They will do a no time limit lumberjack match in August. (thanks to Tom Richards)
--Funkdafied Wrestling Federation on 8/10 in Island Heights, NJ at the Fire Company Hall featuring Balls Mahoney.