Also in this week's issue:
--Date for the biggest match in Mexico in years
--Future of wrestling on Galavision
--Santo anniversary show upcoming
--CMLL major show lineup
--Update on Dr. Wagner Jr.
--Notes on Dragon Gate iPPV and loaded lineup for one of the biggest shows of the year
--The new version of All Japan has its first show
--Who is involved behind the scenes with this new company
--Pro Wrestling NOAH jr. heavyweight tag team tournament
--New Japan iPPV notes for this week
--New Japan tag champs coming to Texas
--Goals for the Wrestle-1 promotion and a look back at the kind of matchmaking Keiji Muto is looking at
--Hall of Famer talks retirement once again
--More on Ric Flair's legal situation
--Coverage of the Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame weekend
--Notes from the speeches
--The problems with honorees not showing up
--Jim Ross talks about Bill Watts
--Matt Hughes at the Hall of Fame
--More on shooting outside the club that Colt Cabana performed at on July 4th
--Notes on the death of Bruiser Brody
--Movies with wrestlers
--Former WWE star as a bodyguard for Alex Rodriguez
--One of 90s most famous tag teams reunites
--Pro wrestling area local star books a boxing match and pro wrestling match on the same night
--One of the biggest non-WWE crowds of the year main event between stars of decades ago is rematched
--Former WWE wrestler gets regular role in a TV series
--Roddy Piper doing more television
--Wrestler and his family in terrible auto accident
--Well-known MMA manager and his boxing match against well known pro wrestling star of the era
--Pro wrestling manager of the 80s does boxing
--John Madden talks going to high school with a pro wrestling legend as well as daughters of all-time great tag team
--Bas Rutten talks his pro wrestling career
--ROH title tournament notes
--Why certain wrestlers aren't in the tournament
--New Japan stars coming to ROH
--Notes on the weekend ROH events and highlights
--TV series with a TNA star
--TNA star gets national TV commercial
--Taelor Hendrix talks problems in TNA and being let go
--TNA weekend house show notes
--Story behind T.J. Grant being pulled from UFC 164
--Analysis of Pettis vs. Henderson
--Chris Weidman day
--Tons of new UFC fights
--Notes on Ultimate Fighter China
--UFC main event will have the most extensive drug testing ever
--Nick Diaz and a return
--Interesting reaction by a fighter to a proposed fight
--UFC lobbying efforts
--UFC Hall of Famer talking a comeback
--World Series of Fighting notes
--Story behind the fallout of Ken Shamrock's MMA return
--Shamrock Brothers working together
--Jens Pulver returns to fight former Olympian
--Gotch piledriver in MMA
--Former Pride star retires
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue.
Our most requested issues in our history are:
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the history of TNA)
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings, Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and why it didn't click)
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bigelow)
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
For the United States, it is $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to
For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52 .
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk, Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods..
To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
Thursday's News Update
--There isn't a lot new today on the TNA front past that both D-Lo Brown and Bruce Prichard are gone from the organization. Brown confirmed the stories on his Twitter account today and said he's looking for bookings at
--TNA will be introducing a new X Division title belt on tonight's show.
--Regarding the ESPYs last night and Floyd Mayweather winning as best fighter, even though he only fought once all year, it's a fan vote and fans are going to vote based on who is the most popular. PPV numbers don't lie. To the average sports fan, they know Mayweather from the De La Hoya fight and then everything since. None of the other fights, and certainly nobody in MMA, has gotten that level of mainstream exposure. You can't expect a fan ballot to rationally look at quality of wins and such.
--Huge news in boxing as Danny Garcia vs. Lucas Matthysse will be the No. 2 fight on the 9/14 Golden Boy PPV headlined by Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Canelo Alvarez. Garcia is the WBA and WBC super lightweight champion while Matthysse is 34-2 with 32 knockouts. It's being pushed as the biggest boxing PPV of all-time and Mayweather himself was pushing for a monster undercard to make it a can't miss event and try and break all records. They are claiming a $19.5 million advanced gate at the MGM Grand, and making predictions of 2.5 million PPV buys. The purse for the two fighters combined is expected to top $3 million, making it possibly the most expensive non-main event in history. The claim by the promotion is also that they have not only sold out in Las Vegas, but 12,000 more seats have been sold closed-circuit in the city. They are expecting to have 38,000 seats available for closed-circuit locations in Las Vegas by show time.
--But I was disappointed last night when ESPN ran down names from sports that had passed away over the past 12 months that they didn't include Jeff Blatnick.
--Vince McMahon on Twitter today welcomed Ultimate Warrior back to the WWE. According to those who would know, there is no deal between Warrior and WWE that has been signed, and it's at this point only in reference to Warrior in the video game. But it was considered significant that Vince mentioned it. It is apparently a form of an olive branch from WWE to him to prelude opening talks of some kind of a deal.
--We had a mistake in the Observer on the times of the iPPV shows this weekend. The New Japan show air late Friday night/early Saturday morning at 4 a.m. Eastern time, 1 a.m. Pacific time and 9 a.m. U.K. time. The Dragon Gate show will air Saturday night/Sunday morning at 2 a.m. Eastern time, 11 p.m. Pacific time and 7 a.m. U.K. time (thanks to Alan Counihan)
--Kushida of New Japan Pro Wrestling debuts with ROH on the 8/3 show in Toronto.
--Roddy Piper will be on the Preston & Steve radio show tomorrow morning in Philadelphia.
--A group of scientists analyzed page son Wikipedia to see which topics had the most edits on them. List of World Wrestling Entertainment Employees was No. 4 on the list behind George W. Bush, Anarchism and Muhammad and ahead of Global Warming, Jesus Christ and the United States. (thanks to James Watkins and many others)
--On Fuel tonight, a Chuck Liddell special airs at 8 p.m., Ultimate Insider at 8:30 p.m., Best of Pride at 9 p.m., Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin at 10 p.m. and Randy Couture vs. James Toney at midnight.
--The World Series of Fighting announced today that they will create their first champion on 9/14 in Atlantic City in a four-man middleweight tournament with three former UFC fighters. Dave Branch vs Danillo Villefort and Elvis Mutapcic (who has never fought in UFC, but was the MFC champion before signing with WSOF) vs. Jesse Taylor take place on the first date. The two winners will meet on a future show for the championship.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1980 - Verne Gagne beat Nick Bockwinkel to win the AWA title in Chicago
1982 - Americo Rocca beat La Fiera in Guadalajara to win the NWA welterweight title
1985 - Animal Hamaguchi (whose daughter became at one point the most famous female amateur wrestler in the world) & Isamu Teranishi beat Takashi Ishikawa & Akio Sato in Nagasaki to win the All-Asia tag titles
1989 - Yumiko Hotta & Mitsuko Nishikwaki beat Suzuki Minami & Akira Hokuto in Tokyo to win the WWWA tag titles
1989 - Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard beat Demolition in Worcester to win the WWF tag tam titles
1991 - Joel Deaton & Billy Black beat Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace to win the All-Asia tag titles. Boy does that result look strange in hindsight. Trust me, it was less strange when it happened, but still strange.
1992 - Doc Dean beat Blondie Barrett in Norwich to win the British welterweight title
1993 - Miles Zrno & David Taylor beat Larry Cameron & Mad Bull Buster (who later became one of the Pitbulls) in Vienna to win the CWA tag titles
1993 - Vampire Warrior (Gangrel/Dave Heath) beat Jeff Jarrett to win the Southern title in Memphis
1999 - Spike Dudley & Balls Mahoney beat The Dudleys for the ECW tag titles in Dayton
2000 - Lance Storm beat Mike Awesome in a tournament final to win the U.S. title
2010 - Kane beat Rey Mysterio to win the World title after Kane cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase he had won earlier in the show in Kansas City
WHO WILL HOLD THEIR UFC TITLE THE LONGEST FROM THIS DATE?
Jon Jones 44.5%
Ronda Rousey 22.5%
Georges St-Pierre 15.0%
Jose Aldo Jr. 6.6%
Cain Velasquez 5.3%
Dominick Cruz 3.1%
Demetrious Johnson 1.8%
Benson Henderson 0.9%
Chris Weidman 0.4%
WHO IS THE BEST OF THE CURRENT PRO WRESTLING WORLD CHAMPIONS?
Kazuchika Okada 32.9%
Alberto Del Rio 17.8%
Bully Ray 16.6%
John Cena 13.9%
El Terrible 2.7%
El Texano Jr. 2.1%
WHICH OF THESE SHOWS ARE YOU PLANNING ON WATCHING?
New Japan 39.4%
Dragon Gate 9.1%
58.0% say they are watching neither. The idea that 39% of the people who voted are watching New Japan this weekend on the surface sounds preposterous.
WHAT WAS THE BEST MATCH ON RAW?
Chris Jericho vs. RVD 78.1%
Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler 15.4%
Randy Orton vs. Fandango 6.5%
--Birthdays today include Carlos Colon (65), Al Snow (50), Great Sasuke (44) and Adam "Joey Mercury" Birch (34)
--Six years ago today, John Kronus of ECW fame passed away at the age of 38.
--Gina Carano will be starring in the Rob Leifeld creation of Avengelyne on the big screen. This will be announced on Saturday.
--Grapplers Quest has an event on 7/20 in Morristown, NJ at the Mennen Sports Arena. There will be a live iPPV at Noon for $4.99 at http://LiveGrappling.com
--Ivelisse Velez was on Tattoo Nightmares on Spike on Tuesday night to get one of her tattoos covered up. She had a tattoo of a flaming Phoenix on her crotch and was tired of being called Fire Crotch and wanted it changed. They acknowledged she was a pro wrestler and showed some clips of her. (thanks to Leonardo Mendez Toledo and Grant Zwayrch)
--One Fighting Championships on 9/13 from Jakarta, Indonesia at the 15,000-seat Istora Senayan Stadium in what is being billed as the biggest fight show in the history of the country. The show is headlined by Andrew Leone vs. Shinichi Kojima and Kotetsu Boka vs. Vuyisile Colossa. The show will air on PPV in the U.S.
--New Era Wrestling on 7/20 in Shelbyvlle, IN at the Boys Club.
--James Stanios at
is looking for a DVD called "Timeshift: Wrestling" on the U.K. wrestling scene.
--Battling Bombshells will be doing a show to benefit former woman wrestler Joyce Grable, who is battling cancer. The show will be Saturday night in Hollywood, FL a the VFW Post 2500, featuring Rosa Negra, Angelina Love, Su Yung and Melissa Coates.
--Ric Flair and his issues with his ex-wife made the front page of the Edmonton Sun.
--The Florida Marlins will have a Legends of Wrestling Night on 8/24 at Marlins Park in Miami. Bill Goldberg will throw out the first pitch for the game. There will be wrestling matches inside a ring of the West Plaza. Appearing at the show for pregame autograph signings will include Goldberg, Bret Hart, Greg Valentine, Brutus Beefcake, Koko Ware, Jimmy Hart, The Nasty Boys, Jim Neidhart, Bushwhacker Luke, Lanny Poffo, Ken Anderson, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Davey Boy Smith Jr., Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff.
--Former WWE wrestler John "Romeo" Roselli will be on the TV show Brain Games tomorrow night at 10 a.m. on the National Geographic Channel.
is looking for results of all Nitro episodes.
--Filsinger Games has released playing cards for Randy Savage, Lanny Poffo and Angelo Poffo in a pack called Poffo Madness at FilsingerGames.com
--Keith Williams is selling a huge collection of autographed wrestling autobiographies. He's got copies of nearly every book that's out there at
--Northeast Wrestling's Wrestling Under the Stars II on 9/21 at Dutchess County Stadium in Fishkill, NY will have Kevin Nash teaming with Cody Hall, Scott's son. Jerry Lawler vs. Matt Striker will headline in what may be Lawler's first singles match back in action since his heart attack. Also appearing are Scott Hall, Jim Ross, John Morrison, The Godfather, Ted DiBiase and Brian Anthony.
--Hoosier Pro Wrestling on 8/3 in Columbus, IN at the 4-H Fairgrounds