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.
Friday's News Update
--Bryan and I have a new audio show up today with Jimmy Korderas on the Secret Rules of the WWE and refereeing. We will have shows both tomorrow night, Sunday night covering SummerSlam and Monday night covering Raw.
--Cablevision, Time Warner, DirecTV and Dish network all ended up paying 23 cents per subscriber per month for FS 1, far less than FS 1 was asking (they were asking 80 cents). This was a gigantic game in the TV industry, when it comes to escalating sports rights fees, escalating costs of stations and escalating costs of cable. There was a bubble and this is the first sign that the increases are not going to last forever. FS 1 is getting even less than NBC Sports Network (33 cents). FS 1 was there to compete with ESPN, which gets $5.54 per subscriber, so this is very much starting out as a TNA vs. WWE fight. These deals are believed to result in FS 1 getting more than $600 million per year less in revenue than they expected to start with.
--But, the channel was moved to better territory. For example, DirecTV moved it to Ch. 219. Most systems are moving it from the netherlands where Speed was to where the ESPN's and USA's are.
--SummerSlam Fan Axxess has sessions tomorrow at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. The Sunday session will have the Maria Menounos tag team match with Natalya vs. Brie Bella & ?
--Darren Young was the third most searched for item on the web yesterday with more than 200,000, which is along the lines of the number SummerSlam and secondary level UFC shows will get. The top two were Lisa Robin Kelly, who died, and Olinguito.
--TMZ ran a second story on Darren Young, a photo feature with his boyfriend and taking about their two year relationship.
--Young appeared this morning on The Today Show with Matt Lauer.
--Darren Young's story got a lot of publicity, including the cover of the on-line version of the Toronto Star. (thanks to James Cross)
--Young will also be on TMZ TV tonight. (thanks to Jeff Bradley)
--HBO Real Sports has a segment with Frank Deford on DDP, Jake Roberts and Scott Hall at 9 p.m. Tuesday night. The show also airs 8/20 at 3:10 a.m., 8/22 at 8 a.m. and 5:15 p.m., 8/25 at 9 a.m, 8/28 at 1 p.m. and 10 p.m., 9/3 at 7 p.m. and 2:55 a.m. and 9/7 at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. It will also be available on HBO on Demand from 8/26 to 9/16.
--We're looking for someone who can do our reviews of Fight Master for the rest of the season as well as next season's Ultimate Fighter show. We want to thank Brent Wilson for all his work over the last few years covering the shows as he's going overseas for work immediately.
--TNA's next themed TV show will be No Surrender on 9/12 in St. Louis.
--Not sure what the story was, but Velvet Sky was in Norfolk yesterday even though she wasn't used on television as advertised.
--The four-part Mayweather vs. Alvarez All Access show debuts on 8/24 at 10 p.m. on Showtime. It will lead in to the Abner Mares vs. Jhonny Gonzalez fight and the next episodes debut on 8/31, 9/7 and 9/11. Mayweather vs. Alvarez is expected to be the biggest PPV event since 2007.
--Due to the negative publicity, the Legends of the Ring promotion has canceled the appearance of Jose Gonzalez aka Invader I for an autograph session in October in Monroe, NJ. Gonzalez killed Bruiser Brody in a dressing room shower in Puerto Rico via stabbing him in 1988. The decision to pull him was obviously for the best.
--Ronda Rousey at a fan Q&A before weigh-ins today:
*She said she doesn't hate anyone, but she feels close to hate for Brian Caraway, the boyfriend of Miesha Tate, saying she has a strong disdain for him. She said she doesn't hate Tate. She said Tate is a much nicer person whe he's not around.
*She noted that as soon as UFC announced some out of competition drug testing that Cris Cyborg asked for her release to sign with Invicta.
*She said she would never coach TUF again
WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING THIS WEEKEND?
UFC on FS 1 52.8%
14.0% are watching neither. More are watching both than watching SummerSlam or UFC individually.
WHAT WAS THE BEST OF THESE SHOWS?
WWE Money in the Bank 68.9%
G-1 Climax 8/4 18.8%
UFC 162 5.2%
G-1 Climax finals 3.4%
G-1 Climax 8/2 show 0.9%
UFC 163 0.7%
G-1 Climax 8/10 0.5%
UFC on FOX 0.2%
New Japan Kizuna Road II 0.2%
Dragon Gate Kobe Wresting Festival 0.2%
That Dragon Gate show is absolutely the greatest show ever to get 0.2% of the vote. A lot of people really should try and watch it, because it's one of the best shows of the year.
POLL ON MAIN EVENT
67.6% of those responding didn't see the show
WHAT IS YOUR INTEREST LEVEL IN THE BELLATOR PPV?
Not interested at all 48.2%
Same as middle tier UFC show 20.1%
Same as bottom tier UFC show 15.5%
Less than bottom tier UFC show 11.2%
Same as top tier UFC show 5.0%
--A story on the ten biggest MMA stars in the U.K. is at http//www.bodyfeudl.co.uk/blog-who-are-the-best-mmas-the-uk-has-produced/
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1960 - Verne Gagne was named the first AWA world heavyweight champion on Minneapolis television. The storyline is that the Minneapolis promotion, upset that Verne Gagne, the longtime No. 1 contender, had not received an NWA title shot for years (the NWA was mad at Gagne for touring as U.S. champion unaffiliated with the NWA and cutting down on world title bookings) and gave them a 90 day ultimatum to make a Pat O'Connor vs. Gagne title match. This was all storyline, as the Minneapolis promoters, led by Gagne himself who had purchased controlling interest from Tony Stecher, didn't want to book O'Connor in the first place. So Gagne was announced as the first champion, and dominated the belt for the next 21 years.
1974 - Mr. Wrestling II beat Super A in a mask vs. mask match in Atlanta. Super A unmasked as Dennis McCord, who later became Austin Idol
1974 - Superstar Billy Graham beat Billy Robinson in Denver to win the IWA title (for the IWE in Japan, which was affiliated with the AWA at the tame)
1974 - Antonio Inoki & Seiji Sakaguchi beat Kurt Von Hess & Karl Von Schotz at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles to win the NWF tag team titles
1981 - Lola Gonzales beat Vickie Williams to win the UWA women's title in Mexico City
1992 - Ciclon Ramirez beat Fantasma de la Quebrada in Mexico City to win the Mexican national welterweight title
1992 - Great Muta beat Riki Choshu in Fukuoka to win the IWGP title and the World Martial Arts title
1992 - Bulldog KT (Gedo) & Pat Tanaka beat Kendo & Coolie S.Z. (Jado) to win the UWF Intercontinental tag team titles'
1993 - Jimmy Del Rey beat Ricky Morton for the SMW TV title
1994 - Ulf Hermann & August Smisl beat Fury & John Hawk (John Layfield ) in Vienna to win the CWA tag team titles
2003 - Justin Credible beat Terry Funk for the 3PW title in Philadelphia
2009 - Samoa Joe beat Homicide to win the TNA X Division title at the Hardcore Justice show in Orlando
--There will be a Shine iPPV from Ybor City, FL on 8/23 with Angelina Love, Christina Von Eerie, Rain, amazing Kong, Ivelisse Velez, Mercedes Martinez, Mia Yim, Santana Garrett, Amber O'Neal, Nikki Roxx and Daffney appearing.
--There is a theater production called "I Love Kent Walton" after the Hall of Fame announcer from the U.K. at The Customs House in South Shields. The show plays from 9/4 to 9/7 and tickets are at the box office. The show is a celebration for the recognition of British Wrestling.
--Brian Bowles was suspended for nine months (effective 5/25, so ending 2/25) for testing positive for steroids and fined $5,700.
--Dana White went off Boston City Council President Stephen Murphy yesterday claiming they are trying to take parenting away from parents. The City Council on Wednesday is expected to vote on a law that would ban anyone under the age of 18 to attend UFC without a parent. White said the results of the vote will likely decide whether they come back to Boston any time soon.
--He also said Lyoto Machida, no matter what, is moving to 185 pounds for his next fight.
--NWA Smoky Mountain Wrestling on Saturday night has a TV taping in Blountville, TN at the Sullivan Central High School headlined by Tony Givens vs. Jason Kincaid.
--Evan Ginzberg is looking for footage that he can legally use for a documentary he is doing. The talent he's looking for is Greg Valentine, Angelo Savoldi, Slick, Tito Santana, Superstar Billy Graham, Marty Jannetty, Angelo Mosca, Ted DiBiase, Paul Orndorff, Gangrel, Ox Baker, Larry Sharpe, Lex Luger, Bill Eadie, Abdullah the Butcher, Apolo, Melissa Coates, Wolfman Willie Farkas, Farmer Pete, Paul Richards, Ricky Johnson, Kamala, Cowboy Bill Watts, Bushwhacker Luke Williams, Wendi Richter, Roddy Piper and Bruno Sammartino, as well a Bill Apter interviews, shots of MSG and Maple Leaf Gardens and other major arenas, and posters of cards. He can be reached at
--Gene Snitsky is coming to CWE for shows on 10/10 in Neepawa, Manitoba, 10/11 in Winnipeg and 10/12 in Selkirk, Manitoba.
--A press conference is scheduled Wednesday to announce a developer to renovate the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. The plan is for a new arena, seating between 13,000 and 14,500. (thanks to Andy Miller)
--Wrestling with Cancer tonight in Ottawa at the Knights of Columbus Hall with Paul London & Brian Kendrick vs Super Smash Brothers, Mike Bailey vs. Matt Cross. Gino Brito will be appearing at the show to sign autographs and take pictures. All tickets sales will go to the Canadian Cancer Society in memory of Phrank Morin, a wrestler in the area who died from cancer two years ago at the age of 23.
--IWC Caged Fury on 8/24 in Elizabeth PA at the Court Time Sports Center with John McChesney vs. Dalton Castle and Facade vs. Anthony Nese. There will be a preshow Q&A with Mark Madden with no topic off limits.
--Ted DiBiase will be appearing at the Central Canadian Comic Con in Winnipeg from 11/1 to 11/3.
--Jimmy Korderas makes his debut as a wrestler on Sunday's Super Showdown at the E-Zone in Toronto on a show with Paul London, Brian Kendrick Mat Cross, Johnny Gargano and others. It's an afternoon show and $15 also gives you the chance to attend the after party and see SummerSlam.
--Golden Legend Promotions on 8/25 at 6 p.m. at Gimnasio Neri Santos in El Paso has Mistico & Marco Corleone vs. Rush & Mephisto, plus Fuerza Guerrera, Magno, Mr Niebla and Negro Casas appearing.