By Dave Meltzer
There is a huge weekend of live events, which starts tonight.
We’re looking for reports on tonight’s loaded up WWE show in Philadelphia with John Cena vs. Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt and Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose, tonight’s NXT show in Orlando, tonight’s GFW show in Erie, PA and last night’s GFW show in Appleton, WI at Dave Meltzer
NEW JAPAN WORLD PRO WRESTLING ON AXS ON FRIDAY NIGHT AT 8 P.M. (one hour earlier than usual)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale
Tomoaki Honma vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada
EVOLVE ON FRIDAY NIGHT FROM YBOR CITY, FL AT THE ORPHEUM AT WWW.WWNLIVE.COM AT 8 P.M.
Drew Galloway & Roderick Strong vs. Anthony Nese & Caleb Konley
Zack Sabre Jr. Vs. ?
Chris Hero vs. Trevor Lee
Rich Swann vs. Timothy Thatcher
Andrew Everett vs Gary Jay
Saturday, we're looking for reports on WWE in Pittsburgh (John Cena, Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Ryback, New Day, Big Show), Nashville (Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton and Sheamus), ROH in Hopkins, MN (A.J. Styles vs. Roderick Strong vs. Kyle O'Reilly, Jay Lethal & Truth Martini vs. Jay Briscoe & ODB, Adam Cole vs. Bobby Fish, Michael Elgin vs. Matt Taven) and NXT in Jacksonville.
UFC 189 FROM THE MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA IN LAS VEGAS
Fight Pass at 7 p.m.
Yosdenis Cedeno vs. Cody Pfister
Neil Seery vs. Louis Smolka
FS 1 at 8 p.m.
Henry Briones vs. Cody Garbrandt
Alex Garcia vs. Mike Swick
John Howard vs. Cathal Pendred
Matt Brown vs. Tim Means
PPV at 10 p.m.
Thomas Almeida vs. Brad Pickett
Gunnar Nelson vs. Brandon Thatch
Dennis Bermudez vs. Jeremy Stephens
Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald for welterweight title
Conor McGregor vs. Chad Mendes for interim featherweight title
EVOLVE IPPV AT WWW.WWNLIVE.COM at 7 p.m. Eastern on Saturday
Drew Galloway vs. Trent Baretta fro Evolve title
Chris Hero vs. ?
Timothy Thatcher vs. Martin Stone
TJ Perkins vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Anthony Nese vs. Trevor Lee
Caleb Konley vs. Andrew Everett
On Sunday, we're looking for reports on WWE in Macon, GA (Randy Orton, Sheamus, Ryback, Big Show, Kevin Owens, Prime Time Players) and Knoxville (Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Seth Rollins, Kane, Cesaro, Dean Ambrose).
UFC ON SUNDAY FROM THE MGM GRAND GARDEN ARENA ON FS 1 AT 8 P.M.
George Sullivan vs. Dominic Waters
Mike De La Torre vs. Maximo Blanco
Dan Miller vs. Trevor Smith
Caio Magalhaes vs. Josh Samman
Willie Gates vs. Darrell Montague
Russell Doane vs. Jarrod Sanders
Angela Magana vs. Michelle Waterson
Michael Graves vs. Vicente Luque
Cezar Mutante Ferreira vs. Jorge Masvidal
Hayden Hassan vs. Kamaru Usman in the TUF 21 season finale
Jake Ellenberger vs. Steve Wonderboy Thompson
Raw will be live on Monday from Atlanta. Brock Lesnar is booked on the show.
Smackdown and Main Event will be taped on Tuesday night in Birmingham.
We've got a double issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter this week, highlighted by part two of our look at the career and life of Dusty Rhodes. This focuses on his babyface turn in Florida, his quest for the title, his rise to national prominence, and his feuds with Terry Funk, Superstar Billy Graham and Ole Anderson. Plus, we look at this year's G-1 Climax tournament, New Japan Dominion, lots of injury notes regarding some of WWE and TNA's biggest stars, WWE lawsuit, Beast in the East and much more.
The Latest Wrestling Observer: July 13, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Dusty Rhodes bio part 2, back to back major shows in Japan
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The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
Our lead story this week looks at the babyface heyday of Dusty Rhodes as a touring attraction. We look at how the business was in the 70s, the changes in the business in the Southeast and why, the rise of pro wrestling on cable television, his departure from World Championship Wrestling, and his first babyface run that people have forgotten.
We look at the heyday of Championship Wrestling from Florida, the work of Gordon Solie, Eddie Graham, and Rhodes arrival in Florida in 1973. We look at the angle that changed Rhodes' career, the transition from Jack Brisco to Dusty Rhodes as the big star in Florida and how that changed the business, the Dusty Rhodes vs. Terry Funk I Quit match, the relationship between Rhodes and Funk, Dusty Rhodes' first two NWA title runs, how the NWA title changed during the 70s and why and Rhodes' quest for the title. We also look at who Rhodes worked with, and his travels around the globe during his heyday, including some unique matches and opponents that most Americans don't realize ever took place.
We look at his Madison Square Garden feud with Superstar Billy Graham, pro wrestling at the Omni in Atlanta, Dusty Rhodes on TBS and the role pro wrestling made in the early history of cable television, as well as the famous angle where Ole Anderson & Ivan Koloff kicked off their feud with Rhodes that set cable records.
We look at the famous Ole Anderson interview after turning on Dusty Rhodes and why their angle is so fondly remembered, The last Tangle in Tampa, the night that cable television changed the history of pro wrestling, the end of Roy Shire's promotion, and the second world title run.
We also have a look at the G-1 Climax tournament for this year, including the favorites, all the matches, as well as full coverage of the Dominion show from Osaka with Kazuchika Okada beating A.J. Styles for the IWGP title.
We've got a look at WWE's latest legal action, including filing suit against four wrestlers in Connecticut. We also look at the cases of wrestlers who are suing WWE.
We've also got complete coverage of Beast from the East, how the show came together, why Brock Lesnar was on the show, and match-by-match rundowns with star ratings and poll results.
We also have more on the NXT show in Brooklyn before SummerSlam, how it will be promoted, a scary note on how bad the Tyson Kidd injury could have been, Battleground update, Dolph Ziggler storyline notes, more WWE injury notes, thoughts on Cesaro, Big Show talks about his demotion to OVW, Thoughts on the memo from five years ago with the notes for WWE announcers and how things have changed since then, Brie Bella talks NXT women coming up as well as vague notes on Daniel Bryan's injury, thoughts on Bryan's future as well as an update on Bruno Sammartino after back surgery.
We also look at the Sports Illustrated article on pro wrestling this week, social media numbers, Ambrose movie release, why Regal was in Japan, WWE's Japan tryouts, Piper leaving Podcast One, Austin talking Piper leaving Podcast One, longtime WWE writer takes new job, notes on Randy Orton, USA Network take on Tough Enough, Jamie Noble and Becky Lynch injury updates, WWE stock, movies with WWE talent, lots of Tough Enough news, as well as notes from all the weekend live events, business notes and highlights from all the shows.
The Observer is the world's most detailed weekly pro wrestling publication, in its 32nd year of publication, and is read by the biggest names in the pro wrestling, industry, MMA industry, sports world and on Wall Street.
We also have our regular features such as the most complete look at ratings, plus results of the major house show events each week in pro wrestling and MMA, and complete inside rundowns of all the TV shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--CMLL running a free live stream this week
--Notes from the latest shows at Arena Mexico
--Controversy coming from a womens' hair vs. hair match
--Notes from this past week's AAA TV taping
--A look at the monthly Dragon Gate show at Korakuen Hall
--A look at the next two Dragon Gate iPPV shows
--A look at the last Pro Wrestling NOAH show at Korakuen Hall
--Notes on Tetsuya Naito's apparent heel turn
--New Japan's last Korakuen Hall show
--Zero-One Fire Festival notes
--Notes on the heyday of OVW
--A look at the upcoming GFW shows
--Hulk Hogan lawsuit news
--A look at the careers and lives of who are believed to be the two oldest living pro wrestlers
--A look at a former WWE star who will star in a reality show piggy backing off Total Divas
--Former AAA star has a major accident
--Notes on the next PWG show
--Wrestling returns to Royal Albert Hall in London
--Update on Lucha Underground
--NXT and ROH go head-to-head in Brooklyn and what ROH is running
--Notes on return of Austin Aries to ROH nest week
--Notes on Andy Barton leaving TNA
--Update on Kurt Angle
--Thoughts on the GFW deal
--Notes on Gilbert Melendez failing his drug test
--Dana White talks about how much Aldo would have made if he had fought McGregor
--Update on Jon Jones
--Notes on all the UFC shows this week
--Notes on the IV ban
--UFC fighter retires
--Crazy street fight story involving a former UFC fighter and a current one
--Notes on charges against the husband of Britney Palmer
--Notes on fighters cut from UFC
--Jose Aldo drug test note
--Sonnen pranks Mendes just before the fight
--Notes on Jacare Souza
If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today. With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today.
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)a
*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 history)
*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.
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., $20 for shipping costs to Canada and $25 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
FRIDAY’S NEWS UPDATE
- Those in UFC claim that the PPV advance for Saturday as far as orders go as of Wednesday were ahead of any show to date including UFC 100. Almost all PPV buys are done the day of the show so that isn’t yet a strong indication of guaranteed success, but it’s a good indication. Within the PPV industry, the belief is this will top 725,000 buys and that with Aldo, it would have beaten that handily. The belief is a McGregor win would mean Aldo vs. McGregor, whenever that would happen, would be much bigger than it would have been tomorrow. However, a Mendes win, the belief is, would cost all parties involved a combined $45 million. And a lot of smart people favor Mendes, although McGregor is the betting favorite.
- They are also expecting the largest crowd in history for a UFC show in Las Vegas to the weigh-ins today.
- I hope all pro wrestling schools are paying attention and sports business classes are paying attention to the value of a personality and promo when it comes to the world of sports entertainment. Everyone who aspires to be a main event wrestler really should watch yesterday’s press conference. While we have examples in past decades of people who have been able to talk people into seats, for a guy in a 200,000 buy weight class who hasn’t even won the title to pull this off is a great modern era example.
- A first-time ever dream match of Rey Mysterio Jr. taking on Myzteziz was announced earlier today as the main event for Triple Mania, which takes place on 8/9 at Arena Ciudad in Mexico City. The show will air on iPPV into North America.
- Lisa Lee Fox, who was Executive Vice President of content with WWE, was let go earlier this week. She was overseer of creative and also in charge of content, such as the WWE Network.
- Davey Richards was knocked out in a match last night in West Virginia. He was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and was told that he couldn’t fly, nor wrestle this weekend. No word on how long he’ll have to be out of action, but The Wolves are the TNA tag team champions and the next tapings start in 12 days.
- Richards was scheduled for Evolve shows tonight in Ybor City, FL and tomorrow night in Orlando. His respective opponents, Zack Sabre Jr. and Chris Hero, will be on the shows and will face a new opponent in a singles match.
- UFC 189 is the No. 26 most searched for term in the U.S. as of this morning. Usually it doesn’t crack the list until the day of the show.
- For twitter, the leading numbers are
UFC 189 39,800 tweets
Cris Cyborg 9,668
Jamie Moyle 264
- Eric Young attacked Jeff Jarrett in an angle at the TNA show last night in Appleton, WI. Young came out and wanted Jarrett. Jarrett said he’d give him a match on the show, but Young didn’t want that. He attacked Jarrett and stole the King of the Mountain belt, saying he was bringing it back to where it belonged.
- Rowdy Bec Rawlings was pulled from the UFC show on FS 1 on 7/18 due to an injury. Joanne Calderwood will now face the debuting Cortney Casey on UFC’s debut card in Glasgow, Scotland.
- Check the Thursday update for all the activities in Las Vegas this weekend.
- Several pro wrestling types were at the Invicta show last night. CM Punk was there, and I believe Adam Cole and Roderick Strong were, although I didn’t see them. Shayna Baszler was there and she said she’s looking at doing more pro wrestling as a competitor. Baszler is the exact opposite of what they wanted on Tough Enough, but she’d have been perfect for the show as a personality. But they were looking for bikini models and a few years younger women. We talked about the street fight story that is in this week’s issue and she said it’s still surreal thinking about it. Josh Barnett also was interested in doing more over the next year with pro wrestling, particularly in Japan. UFC stars were everywhere, as well as many of the top brass at UFC. No Dana White, but both matchmakers, Joe Silva and Sean Shelby were there.
- It looks like the plan going forward will be to have Invicta shows in Las Vegas, more on the Friday nights before UFC. They did more than 1,000 paid and the theater at the Cosmopolitan was a great place to watch fights.
- Sabu suffered a bad shoulder injury, but left for a wrestling tour of Europe this week.
- Ronda Rousey refused to break training to come to International Fight Week. She and Jose Aldo (injured) are just about the only top UFC stars not here.