Also in this week's issue:
--Title changes in Mexico
--New Japan stars headed to Mexico including a debut of one of the G-1 heroes
--Big legends match with every wrestler in a trios match being a 30 year or more veteran
--All Japan Open tournament
--NOAH's biggest singles tournament
--New Japan financials and where and show business is changing
--Debut of Keiji Muto's promotion and what has been announced
--Zero-One Fire Festival coverage
--Pro Wrestling Guerrilla celebrates its 10th anniversary
--HBO working on a pro wrestling story
--New wrestling history book coming out
--Promotion shutting down and why
--British star announces retirement
--Ric Flair update
--Two indie wrestlers whose careers are in jeopardy
--Both wrestler and MMA fighter this week arrested for domestic violence
--Update on B.J. Whitmer
--Notes on the ROH show in New York
--Nigel McGuinness talks about why he retired from wrestling
--McGuinness talks about TNA fan voting for title shot
--Update on the TNA Hardcore Justice television show and new details
--A Hulk Hogan bio movie and what is and isn't real according to him
--More on TNA star being off TV for a while
--TNA talent in OVW
--King Mo's upcoming MMA fights
--More on Jesse Sorensen
--Upcoming UFC shows
--UFC employee inducted into a boxing Hall of Fame
--Problems in holding a UFC event in Boston
--Who is behind the problems
--A lot at the Boston market for UFC
--Will UFC return
--Notes on UFC 163
--Story of Nik Lentz and his bonus money
--Ronda Rousey talks her MMA future
--Dana White talks Vitor Belfort vs. Lyoto Machida
--Update on T.J. Grant
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Four UFC fighters competing in a different sport
--Notes on the arrest of Jason Mayhem Miller
--Big fights coming up with week in MMA
--Bob Sapp resurfaces
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
--What exactly are the odds that out of the blue, TMZ ambushed Darren Young of all people at the airport and asked him a question about treatment of gays in pro wrestling, and he had a carefully prepared answer coming out ready? I mean, it's amazing. But it was a clever publicity stunt and if they go with it as a gimmick to give him more TV time, good for him, because they aren't going to make him embarrassing like they would in another generation if they went with that.
--There has been a good deal of publicity about it. I was even asked about it doing a radio show today where the subject was the UFC show in Boston.
--Also, I highly recommend Michael Elliott's Highspots.com DVD on the history of Jim Crockett promotions. Some great old footage from the 70s and early 80s, and they talked to a ton of the key people. Jim Crockett Jr. was tremendous in telling the story from his perspective. Some people I felt were still delusional about the realities of what pro wrestling was. Actually, Magnum T.A. was very fair and balanced. The idea Magnum T.A. would have been difference maker in a wrestling war is way overblown. He'd have gotten his world title run, of course, but the end result was going to be the same no matter what. The key things were business was going to fall long-term, and already had, because you can't go forever with a pat hand no matter how talented your top guys are; and Vince making it difficult for them to run PPV combined with their inability to sell TV advertising sealed their fate. Tommy Young and Jim Cornette were also very good, and they even had Dusty Rhodes who admitted to some flaws as a booker.
--Ricky Marvin makes his debut with ROH on 9/20 in Philadelphia.
--I was given a tip regarding Saturday's UFC show, if you are planning on DVRing the show, make sure to record whatever is listed for the channel in the time slot as a lot of guides are wrong, and make sure to record the next show as well for a possible overrun.
--For those with DirecTV, FS 1 starts on Ch. 219 on Saturday. It's not on the same channel as Speed Channel, which was Ch. 607.
--An angle is being shot, at least as of the current plan, during the Dean Ambrose vs. RVD U.S. title match that will either lead to a trios match involving Mark Henry & Big Show as well as Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins, or to lead to a tag team title match at the PPV. I'm not exactly clear other than all have been told they are working the show.
--WWE is looking for non-union "Athletic Guys" who are male between the ages of 18 and 25 and "not camera shy" to do some sort of skits for Raw this coming Monday in Anaheim. They are needed from Noon to 8 p.m. (Raw airs 5-8 p.m. on the West Coast). The pay is $500 plus 10% and you get your parking paid for at the show.
--WWE as part of its Susan G. Komen breast cancer partnership will host mobile mammogram units at select locations where women with insurance can get mammograms free of charge.
--Dana White said UFC will not counter the Bellator PPV with a live show.
--He also said there is no way in hell Ronda Rousey is retiring in two years. He also said that when Rousey is having a bad day, those are the days you should stay off Twitter.
OF ALL THE UFC CHAMPION VS. CHAMPION FIGHTS, WHAT DO YOU MOST WANT TO SEE
Jon Jones vs. Cain Velasquez 60.7%
Jose Aldo vs. Benson Henderson 14.2%
GSP vs. Benson Henderson 13.1%
GSP vs. Chris Weidman 5.8%
Jon Jones vs. Chris Weidman 3.6%
Demetrious Johnson vs. Renan Barao 1.9%
Renan Barao vs. Jose Aldo 0.6%
WHO SHOULD END SUMMERSLAM AS WWE CHAMPION
Daniel Bryan 81.3%
Randy Orton 15.2%
John Cena 3.5%
WHO SHOULD WIN PUNK VS. LESNAR?
WHO WINS THIS FIGHT?
Alistair Overeem 68.5%
Travis Browne 31.5%
WHO WINS THIS FIGHT?
Shogun Rua 54.8%
Chael Sonnen 45.2%
--The first UFC Countdown show on FS 1 will air on 8/26, a Monday night, at 8 p.m. Eastern and 5 p.m. Pacifc time.
--ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1942 - Steve Casey beat The French Angel in Boston for the AWA world heavyweight title
1969 - El Solitario beat Rayo de Jalisco in Mexico City to win the world middleweight title
1970 - Bobby Shane beat Nick Bockwinkel in Atlanta to win the Georgia TV title
1981 - Wahoo McDaniel & Terry Funk beat Tully Blanchard & Gino Hernandez in San Antonio to win the Southwest tag team titles
1994 - Mephisto & Dante beat PG-13 to win the USWA tag titles in Memphis
1995 - Keiji Muto beat Shinya Hashimoto in the finals of the G-1 tournament at Sumo Hall in Tokyo. That was a great match.
1999 - Manabu Nakanishi beat Keiji Muto at Tokyo Sumo Hall in the G-1 finals
1999 - Cadaver de Ultratumba beat Canek in Tehuacan to win the UWA heavyweight title. They put a Cadaver from a tomb over for the world title beating Canek?
2004 - Randy Orton beat Chris Benoit at SummerSlam to win the World title in Toronto
--Legends on Demand this week
ECW Unreleased Vol. 1 parts three and four
WCW Saturday Night 7/23/88
Ric Flair vs. Shelton Benjamin 2004
Barry Horowitz vs. Skip 1995
S.D. Jones vs. Mike Sharpe 1987
Undertaker vs. Maven 2002
Tito Santana vs. Randy Savage from Boston 2/8/86
WCW Spring Stampede 1999
Matt Striker vs. C.M. Punk 1/16/07
Tommy Dreamer vs .Simon Diamond 5/28/00 ECW
Tazz vs. Kurt Angle 3/9/00 Smackdown
--A lot of people are very upset at the Legends of the Ring group running a convention in Monroe, NJ for bringing in Jose Gonzalez as one of the Invaders, along with 70s star Roberto Soto. Gonzalez stabbed Bruiser Brody to death in a dressing room in 1988.
--Maria Menounos made a mention of WWE today on the Kelly & Michael show on ABC. Menounos will be wrestling Sunday afternoon at Axxess before SummerSlam, teaming with Natalya vs Brie Bella and a mystery partner..
--For those who noted a Spike listing of Fight Master at one point for this coming Wednesday, Spike officials told us this is an old listing and next week's Fight Master will air Thursday at 11 p.m., just like tonight.
--There is a Resurrection Fighting Alliance show promoted by Ed Soares on Friday night featuring Pedro Munhoz vs. Jeff Curran, Kevin Casey vs. Casey Ryan and Steve Mocco vs. Lew Polley on AXS tomorrow night.
--Tuesday night during Spike's Tattoo Nightmares show Christopher Daniels was in a skit. It was people getting cover ups for bad or embarrassing tattoos and while they are getting the work done, they explain how they got the original one they now wish they didn't have. The show uses skits with actors to recreate the stories and Daniels played a White Supremacy inmate who forced the guy telling the story to get an Iron Cross while in jail. He had a few lines. (thanks to Leonardo Mendez)
--A Give Forward campaign to help with Necro Butcher's medical bills after his serious injuries over the weekend is at https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/sfw2dylan-summers-medical-expenses
He needs money for physical therapy, another doctor's visit, an ambulance ride and a transfer to two hospitals, both out of state, so his insurance won't cover it, plus he's having to take off work. His wife also made this plea, do not donate if you, yourself are struggling with bills.
--Quebec promotion TOW has a pilot TV taping on 9/28 in Lasalle, Quebec for RDS2, a french sports channel. It will be the first time local wrestling will have been on Quebec television since the folding of International Wrestling in 1987, some 26 years ago. RDS's main channel currently airs an edited one hour version of Impact. (thanks to Pat Laprade and Frank DeLuca)
--A Smackdown TV taping on 9/17 in Cincinnati features Daniel Bryan & Randy Orton & RVD vs. The Shield as the dark match main event. Well, at least that's what is advertised this week, as they change constantly (thanks to Brian Henke)
--Kevin Nash wrote a bunch of stuff ripping TNA on Twitter, advocating letting Jeff Jarrett be part of the creative process. Their problems are far deeper than anything Jeff Jarrett can solve. Nash claimed the problem was Spike but Dixie gets all the blame.
--Fuel tonight airs UFC 145 with Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans at 6 pm. an UFC 146 with Junior Dos Santos vs. Frank Mir at 9 p.m., plus Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia at midnight.
--Weigh-ins tomorrow are listed for 7 p.m. Eastern on Fuel instead of the usual 4 p.m. Is that right?
--Chaotic Wrestling on Friday night in Lowell, MA at the Polish American Veterans Club and Saturday night in Littleton, NH at the Opera House. Tommaso Ciampa and Matt Taven work the Lowell show.
--Jimmy Korderas, a WWE ref turned TV announcer makes his pro wrestling debut as a wrestler on Saturday night in Toronto at The E-Zone for Smash Wrestling, on a show that also includes Brian Kendrick, Paul London, Matt Cross, Johnny Gargano, Player Uno, LuFisto, Gregory Iron, Tyson Dux and more.
--Evolve announced shows on 9/21 in Ridgewood, NY at the Guzman Sports Lounge and 9/22 in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Lyceum. AR Fox, Johnny Gargano, Matt Jackson, Ricochet, Anthony Nese, Trent Baretta, Chuck Taylor and more appear..
--Chris Jericho will be appearing 9/14 at the Montreal Comic Con at the Palais des Congres. Fozzy also appears that night in Montreal at the Corona Theater. Also appearing on 9/14 with be Mick Foley, who will be doing his comedy show there at 7 p.m. for $15. Also coming that weekend are Kevin Nash and Maryse Oullet. Nash will do a Q&A on 9/15, and there will be a Montreal wrestling history Q&A on 9/15 with Kevin Steen, Gino Brito and Paul LeDuc, as well as Pat Laprade and Bertrand Hebert, who wrote the "Mad Dogs, Midgets and Screw Jobs" book on Montreal history. Bret Hart will also be there on 9/14.
--The book "Mad Dogs, Midgets and Screw Jobs" will be released in French in October, published by Libre Expression.
--Sheamus appears at the Wizard World Ohio Comic Con from 9/20 to 9/22 in Columbus, OH at the Convention Center.
--2CW has shows on Friday and Saturday night in Boonville, NY at the Woodsman Field Days, with Jim Duggan on Friday and Mickie James on Saturday. Both show are free but you have to pay for fairgrounds admission to attend.
--Maximum Fighting Championships runs 10/14 in Edmonton at the Shaw Conference Centre with three title fights.