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.
Wednesday's News Update
--We have a ton on the TNA situation in the new issue of the Observer
. As far as updates go from when the story went to press, the Prowrestling.net story about D-Lo Brown being gone from the company is accurate based on what we've heard. Tomorrow is going to be a very interesting day for the company behind the scenes in Louisville.
--Raw Monday did a 3.0 rating. It was technically 3.048, so it rounds to 3.05 but is actually a 3.0 and not a 3.1 Either way, a good number against Home Run Derby.
--Doc was scheduled for a feud with Ken Anderson and a babyface turn, which the TV was leading up to, but his contract expired and he wasn't signed to a new deal. He still may be signed, but he isn't working without a deal and he was removed from the TNA roster page. A number of people, like Devon, Bobby Roode (who wasn't removed from the roster page) and Velvet Sky were in the same situation and ended up being brought back.
--USA network won last week ratings race with 2.36 million viewers on average in prime time to 2.34 million for Disney. FX was No. 8 at 1.56 million. Syfy was No. 14 with 1.11 million. Spike was No. 19 with 887,000. The three hours of Raw were No. 5, 7 and 9 last week. The third hour was No. 9 in 18-34, and the three hours were No. 2, 3 and 7 in 18-49
--The Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson FOX fight airs on Fuel tonight at 8 p.m., while the Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald show from England airs at 10 p.m., and the Vitor Belfort vs. Luke Rockhold show airs at 1 a.m.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1950 - Johnny Valentine beat Danny Dusek for the Southern title in Tampa
1957 - Killer Kowalski beat Gene Kiniski to win the MAC title in Montreal. That was a major stadium match.
1968 - Magnificent Maurice & Johnny Barend beat Peter Maivia & Billy White Wolf in Honolulu to win the Hawaiian tag team titles
1970 - The Fabulous Kangaroos of Al Costello & Don Kent beat Dick the Bruiser & Big Bill Miller in Indianapolis to win the WWA tag titles
1970 - Paul DeMarco beat Nick Bockwinkel for the Georgia title in Atlanta
1973 - Bob Armstrong & Bill Dromo beat The Super Infernos for the Macon tag team title
1973 - Masked Lee & Sandy Parker beat Jumbo Miyamoto & Mariko Akagi in Yokohama to win the WWWA tag titles
1976 - Pampero Firpo beat The Sheik in Detroit to win the U.S. title
1983 - Ron Garvin beat The Iron Sheik in Atlanta to win the National TV title
1987 - Rufus Jones beat Porkchop Cash in Kansas City to win the Central States title
1987 - Miles Zrno beat Steve Wright (Alex's father and one of the great technical wrestlers of his time) in Vienna to win the CWA middleweight title
1988 - Dandy beat Kung Fu in Mexico City to win the NWA middleweight title
1990 - Terry Gordy beat Stan Hansen in Ishikawa to win the Triple Crown
1992 - Felino beat America (formerly Pantera) in Cuernavaca to win the CMLL middleweight title
1993 - Brian Lee beat Tracy Smothers in Johnson City, TN to win the SMW title
1994 - Hulk Hogan beat Ric Flair to win the WCW title in his first match with the promotion in Orlando, plus Paul Roma & Paul Orndorff beat Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan on the same show to win the WCW tag titles
2002 - Shelton Benjamin & Redd Dogg (who later became Rodney Mack) beat Flash Flanagan & Trailer Park Trash to win the OVW Southern tag team titles in Jeffersonville, IN
2002 - Brian Adams & Bryan Clarke beat Taiyo Kea & Keiji Muto in Osaka to win the All Japan tag titles
--The World Series of Fighting will be doing a Fan Fest this coming Saturday in Ontario, CA to promote the 8/10 show in the city. It will be from Noon to 4 p.m. at Dave & Buster's at 4821 Mills Circle in Ontario, CA, with Ray Sefo and Josh Burkman. It will include a training session, photo ops, ring girls, ticket giveaways, a punching machine and more.
--Stacy Keibler was doing a New York City press junket this week to promote her new reality show, "Supermarket Superstars." She was on Good Morning America. She has brown hair now in a different style. She said she and George Clooney were broken up, that she's doing fine and the reports they broke up about her wanting to get married and have a family are not true. She said she's not at all concerned about marriage or a family life. She was doing a blindfold taste test, and slipped out a dirty word which the censors couldn't beep out, and then apologized for it. She's be on Jimmy Fallon on Friday. The show debuts Monday at 10 p.m., meaning it goes against Raw.
--Michelle Beadle, on Access Hollywood Live, when talking about how she doesn't like living in Los Angeles, said one of the few things she likes is that Raw is on at 5 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. She said she doesn't watch regular soap operas so Raw is her soap opera. She talked about Vickie Guerrero being fired, said the guy to watch is C.M. Punk and his finisher is called the Go to sleep. She said the women were the weakest part of the show but they are working on building them up. She then laughed and some most of the people in their demo watching are probably switching the channel once she talks about wrestling. (thanks to Jake Koch)
--Update on the 7/27 Dragon Gate USA show in Elmhurst, Queens at the Queensboro Elks Lodge
2/3 falls, first fall two refs tags strictly enforced, second fall no tags needed Mexican/Dragon Gate rules, third fall TLC rules
Cima & AR Fox & Tomahawk T.T vs. Ricochet & Young Bucks
Johnny Gargano vs. Rich Swann non-title
Akira Tozawa vs. Anthony Nese
Eita vs. Trent Baretta
Chuck Taylor vs. Jon Davis
Uhaa Nation vs Jigsaw
Caleb Konley vs. Derek Ryze vs. Drew Gulak vs. Orange Cassidy vs. Scott Reed vs. Shane Strickland
--Traditional Championship Wrestling tapes TV on 8/3 in Fort Smith, AR at the Convention Center at 6:30 p.m with Matt Hardy & Americos vs. The Empire, (Trevor) Murdock vs. Titan, Zach Gowen vs. Greg Anthony. They also will tape 9/6 in Nashville at the Fairgrounds headlined by Rob Conway.
--Anarchy Championship Wrestling on Sunday in Austin, TX for a 6 p.m. show
--OVW tapes TV tonight in Louisville at the Davis Arena
--IWC on Saturday night in White Oak, PA at the White Oak Athletic Association with John McChesney vs. Jimmy Nutts for the IWC title as the main event.
--Reporter Jayson Stark on twitter said that when Adam Jones presented Yoenis Cespedes a WWE title belt replica for winning Home Run Derby, he didn't have the slightest idea of what it was. "He knew the belt was good, but I can't tell you he knew who Stone Cold was." (thanks to David Kaplan)
--Presale for the 10/13 WWE show at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia starts tomorrow at 10 a.m. using the password WWEPHILLY. Advertised are Shamus, Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, The Shield and more.
WHAT WAS LAST WEEK'S BEST TV MATCH?
Bryan vs. Sheamus 40.8%
Taryn Terrell vs. Gail Kim 21.0%
Daniel Bryan vs. Christian 16.5%
C.M. Punk vs. Randy Orton 9.7%
Dolph Ziggler vs. Antonio Cesaro 9.7%
Chris Jericho vs. Curtis Axel 1.5%
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus 0.7%
WHO IS WWE'S BEST PERFORMER RIGHT NOW?
Daniel Bryan 69.9%
C.M. Punk 11.6%
Dolph Ziggler 5.5%
Dean Ambrose 2.8%
Randy Orton 2.6%
Antonio Cesaro 1.7%
John Cena 1.7%
Chris Jericho 1.5%
Alberto Del Rio 0.9%
Seth Rollins 0.7%
WHO WILL BE THE NEXT UFC CHAMPION TO LOSE THEIR TITLE?
Chris Weidman 41.0%
Benson Henderson 19.8%
Cain Velasquez 13.7%
Renan Barao 4.8%
Jose Aldo 4.0%
Ronda Rousey 2.6%
Jon Jones 2.2%
WHAT WAS THE BEST OF THESE BIG SHOWS?
WWE Money in the Bank 42.2%
New Japan Dominion 19.2%
WWE Payback 15.6%
UFC 162 14.9%
ROH Best in the World 1.9%
UFC 161 1.9%
New Japan 7/5 1.6%
Dragon Gate 7/4 1.6%
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW?
Daniel Bryan 30.6%
Paul Heyman 29.1%
C.M. Punk 14.6%
Rob Van Dam 12.3%
Brad Maddox 7.7%
Dolph Ziggler 1.8%
John Cena 1.7%
Chris Jericho 1.3%
Randy Orton 0.8%
POLL ON RAW
8.3% of those responding didn't see the show
--Bruiser Brody actually passed away 25 years ago today at 42. There is a story on him in the new Observer, as well as a story on Ray Stevens in the back issue that is up on the site right now. Brody was stabbed at a show on July 16, 1988, but died in the early morning hours the next day. British actor and wrestling star Pat Roach passed away nine years ago today at the age of 68.
--Daffney (Shannon Spruill) turned 38 today. Mike "Knux" Knox of TNA turned 35 today.
--Roddy Piper appears on an upcoming episode of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."
--Tickets for UFC 167, headlined by GSP vs. Johny Hendricks, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on 11/16, go on sale on 7/31 to Fight Club members, 8/1 to newsletter subscribers and 8/2 to the public.
--Chaotic Wrestling on Friday night in Woburn, MA at the Elks Lodge with Brian Milonas vs. Sean Burke vs. Todd Hanson as the main event.
--New England Fights announced an 8/3 show in Biddeford, ME at the Biddeford Arena. The first time they ran in that city they drew 1,600 and turned away another 500. The main event features amateur middleweights Buck Pineau (6-2) vs. Isaiah Queen (2-1).
--The TV show "At the Movies" in Australia , saw film critic Jason DiRosso gave Pacific Rim ***1/2 and Judith Lacy gave it *** (thanks to James Stanios)
--James Brattoli noted at the Fry's store in Las Vegas, he was able to get the "I'm from Hollywood" DVD on Andy Kaufman working in Memphis in the mid-80s for $1.
--Ashlee Evans-Smith talks about her fight with Fallon Fox
and her experience trying out for the recently filmed season of Ultimate Fighter (she wasn't picked). Interview starts at the 17 minute mark. (thanks to Ken Rodriguez)
--Matt Cail noted he was able to get ninth row for at $312 for the 8/17 UFC show in Boston and there were plenty of seats in the top price categories. There were no lower priced seats in the balcony or blub section seats left. There are about 1300 tickets on the re-sale market, as high as $600 for third row cageside.
--Last night in Guadalajara: Smaker & Metatron b Ebola & Espectrum, Raziel & Barbaro Cavernario & Cancerbero b Magnus & Esfinge & Black Metal, Dragon Rojo Jr. & Rey Escorpion & Polvora b Triton & Fuego & Stuka Jr., Atlantis & Shocker & Blue Panther b Tiger & Negro Casas & Rey Bucanero, Volador Jr. b Mistico
--FIP on 8/9 for an iPPV show at WWNLive.com from Ybor City, FL with Jon Davis vs. Trent Barreta for the FIP title
--The Randy Savage baseball card which mentions him dropping the elbow to better his swing has been called a hoax. See the pic here