Skip to main content

THURS. UPDATE: Battle of Los Angeles, CMLL longtime star leaves, WWE signs Japanese star, Cena bio, Sonnen success, Mein retires, WWE 2K party videos

By Dave"> We're looking for reports on tonight's NXT show in Tampa at">dave@wrestlingobserver.comSmackdown tonight on Syfy Dudleys vs. The AscensionNeville vs. Kevin OwensCharlotte & Becky Lynch vs. Bella TwinsDolph Ziggler & Ryback vs. Rusev & Big ShowSheamus vs. Dean Ambrose For the weekend, the Cena tour runs Friday in Fort Myers, Saturday in Orlando and Sunday in Daytona Beach.  The Reigns tour runs Saturday in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Sunday in Tallahassee.  NXT runs Friday in Cocoa Beach and Saturday in Fort Pierce. A complete rundown of the WWE's weekend in Brooklyn, with all the business notes, surprises and what is known about the future direction is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We also cover the decision to have Holly Holm replace Miesha Tate as Ronda Rousey's opponent next, a UFC business year-in-reivew story, ROH big weekend, New Japan next tour, 2017 Mania and Daniel Bryan future note. The issue is on the site right now at Web site subscriptions, which include access to both current and older newsletters as well as every audio show on the history of the site are at

You can also order the print Observer right now and get it delivered to your door via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to"> You can also order at directing funds to

Rates are:

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.

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. We have rundowns of NXT Takeover, SummerSlam and Raw from Brooklyn.  We look at the Night of Champions card and what is and isn't confirmed, the unique aspect of that weekend no PPV, the returns of Sting and the Dudleys, Dudleys tag title reigns, Jushin Liger's WWE future, New Japan stars at SummerSlam, Bray Wyatt's new Wyatt family member and his booking, Jon Stewart, Lesnar and Undertaker's finish, business notes, NXT in the U.K., Wrestlers complaining about fans at Raw, as well as more on the problems in the WWE Diva Division and what isn't working.  We look at UFC's 2015 business numbers and what they show about the UFC audience, the appeal of the audience to advertisers, how it compares with the audience at other sports, how much of this year's increases have to do with Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey and what their effects are on business as a whole.  We also look at who the new fans UFC has brought in this year are. We also have full coverage of UFC from Saskatoon, with match-by-match coverage and business notes on the show. We look at two major stars returning to a major promotion after seven years and their first programs, the CMLL Anniversary show main event, notes from the Arena Mexico shows from the past weekend Ultimo Dragon taping TV in Mexico City. We also have notes on a top woman star being injured, a booker getting bad pub from television, a promotion so hot that their sold out events are going to be broadcast in movie theaters as well as upcoming tournaments in Japan. We also have a look at the New Japan business and how it has increased over recent years, More on A.J. Styles challenging for the IWGP title, New wrestlers debuting in Japan including names not announced yet, lineups for the New Japan World shows in September, Hiroshi Tanahashi talks neck problem, Tanahashi talks theories of wrestling and Ricochet in New Japan. We also look at WrestleMania in 2017, the Madison Square Garden network special the 2K 16 launch party, the next Stone Cold podcast, an update on Daniel Bryan and well as some of his own philosophies of wrestling, Dolph Ziggler talks contract, the end of Tough Enough, more on NXT talent and pay, stars with new deals, the WWE Divas title, HHH talks NXT, other stars talk who they'd like to see in WWE, Jericho talks Hogan and more. We also note an indie show in Japan that outdrew Brock Lesnar and WWE at Sumo Hall, as well as the 40th anniversary of the pro debut of one of this era's biggest stars. We note the death of Duke Myers, his career highlights, GFW's latest TV taping and everything that happened, Taz getting a new gig, Wale and pro wrestling, Terry Funk wrestling again in a few months, Jim Ross talk show, Leroy McGuirk into NWA Hall of Fame, Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Red, Alberto El Patron in Europe, promoter critical of Sabu and an update on Len Rossi. We also look at the future of Lucha Underground, ROH/New Japan relationship update, next ROH PPV show, ROH weekend shows in Philadelphia and Brooklyn notes as well as the upcoming show. We also update TNA. We look at UFC's marketing its fall and winter shows, what main events all UFC 's upcoming dates, Plans for the debut in Melbourne, Australia, and more notes on drug testing UFC athletes. We also look at the next FOX show, lots of new fights, Ronda Rousey T-shirt sales, Anthony Johnson situation, Two UFC women fighters pregnant and new Fight Pass series. We also look at a major wrestler signing, Alberto Del Rio in negotiations to be an announcer, early UFC promoter back running live shows and huge One championship bout. 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. THURSDAY'S NEWS UPDATE --Bryan and I have a new interview with Chris Hero talking Battle of Los Angeles, psychology of working small buildings vs. big buildings, NOAH and a lot more up on the site today.  We also have an interview from Monday with A.J. Styles talking the G-1 Climax tournament. --Here is the PWG Battle of Los Angeles lineups for this weekend: Friday night

  • Aero Star vs. Brian Cage
  • Biff Busick vs. Andrew Everett
  • Will Ospreay vs. Mark Andrews
  • Trent Baretta vs. Trevor Lee
  • Drago vs. Pentagon Jr.
  • Fenix vs. Matt Sydal
  • Jack Evans & Angelico vs. Ricochet & Rich Swann
  • Tommy End & Marty Scurll & Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Young Bucks & Roderick Strong

Saturday night

  • Rich Swann vs. Marty Scurll
  • Chris Hero vs. Timothy Thatcher
  • Drew Gulak vs. Tommy End
  • Jack Evans vs. Angelico
  • Drew Galloway vs. Mike Bailey
  • Ricochet vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
  • Fenix & Aero Star vs. Pentagon Jr. & Drago
  • Young Bucks & Super Dragon vs. Biff Busick & Andrew Everett & Trevor Lee

--Sarah Stock (Dark Angel/Sarita) announced she was leaving CMLL after roughly a decade in the promotion and as one of the key figures in elevating women wrestling in that group.  She made that announcement yesterday. --Kanna, who was shown on Saturday's NXT TakeOver show, was actually signed by WWE several weeks ago. --Today is the 44th anniversary of the Fred Blassie vs. John Tolos match at the Los Angeles Coliseum which held the state's attendance record until WrestleMania this year just beat it. --A John Cena biography called "Hustle, Loyalty, Respect:  The World of John Cena," will be released in March of 2016. --The Dish Network and Sinclair Broadcasting reached a transmission deal earlier today.  The old deal was up a few weeks ago and the stations were pulled for a day or two before this long-term deal was finalized. --Taz announced that Jim Ross will be a regular weekly guest on his new radio show. --WWE Studios will be producing a movie called "Long Shot:  The Kevin Laue Story," about a man with one arm playing Division I basketball. --'Ballers' featuring The Rock ended up as the third most watched comedy in HBO history behind Sex and the City and Hung. --Podcast One announced that Chael Sonnen's "You're Welcome" show is pulling in more than 1 million downloads per month, joining Shaq, Dan Patrick and Adam Corolla as the most listened to sports shows on the network.  In specific, the shows from 4/15 to 5/13 topped 1 million combined, which were shows with guests Douglas Crosby, Wayne McCullough, Wes Sims, Frontrow Brian, Luke Rockhold, Daniel Cormier, Anthony Johnson, John Piermarini and Paige VanZant.  His newest episode features Phil Baroni.

- WXW Shotgun episode #222 featuring our Alan Counihan is up on YouTube now.  --It was reported last night on UFC Tonight that Jordan Mein was retiring from MMA at the age of 25.  He's already had 39 pro fights. --Bob Backlund's autobiography, "Backlund:  From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling's World champion" will be out next month through Skyhorse Publishing. --The Dudleys have been added to the 10/3 show in Madison Square Garden. --WWE stock closed up 13 cents today to $20 per share.    -- WWE 2K16’ favorite Dolph Ziggler to show off in Miami with SmackDown at AmericanAirlines Arena  --Sting talks his upcoming Q&A shows in the U.K. at --A story on the WWE 2k 16 video game with quotes from Steve Austin, Seth Rollins and Sheamus at more stuff from the WWE 2K 16 party at --Montreal's IWS has a show on 9/5 and  Vampiro will do his first match in Montreal since 1987, when he debuted as Bill Fury.  Drago and Fenix are now off the show but will be replaced by Jack Evans and Cortez Castro. (thanks to Patric Laprade). --Josh, Sara Lee, Amanda and ZZ talk the Tough Enough season at
 --Another story on Sara Lee is at

--WWE is looking for a General Manager for an office in India at
 --Lance Storm has a new Q&A up on his web site at
 --They had a big event in Hamilton, ONT last night for Angelo Mosca, both to honor him and as a fund raiser.  Here are some stories on the event:
 --Interview with Jeff Jarrett for RVA Magazine before their ballpark show on Saturday in Richmond, VA. Talked about GFW's TV deal, filming without locking down a deal, streaming services, working with TNA, his father, the roster, and the next boom period. --A note on Dory Funk Jr's next show and two of his students who are getting looks by WWE this week:

ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY INTERNATIONAL (thanks to Graeme Cameron) 1958 - Rikidozan beat Lou Thesz to win the International title, which for the next 15 years was the leading singles title in Japan.1978 - Canek beat Lou Thesz in Mexico City to become the UWA heavyweight champion1985 - Mayumi Ozaki beat Yu Yamazaki in Tokyo to win the UWA women's jr. title1992 - Irma Gonzalez beat Lola Gonzalez to win the UWA women's title --Lucha Toronto on 9/27 in Whitby, ONT headlined by Ricky Reyes vs. Rey Hours. --Absolute Intense Wrestling on 9/11 in Cleveland at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School headlined by Bob Holly vs. Nick Gage, plus Colt Cabana, Cliff Compton, Candice LaRae, Athena, and more. --IWF on Saturday night in Nutley, NJ at the IWF Centre. --ECCW on 10/17 in Vancouver, BC at the Russian Community Centre. --All Star Wrestling on 9/12 in Squamish, BC at Totem Hall featuring Chelsea Green from Tough Enough. --CHIKARA King of Trios featuring A.J. Styles & Young Bucks from 9/4 to 9/6 in Easton, PA at the Palmer Center. --One Championships on 9/27 in Jakarta, Indonesia headlined by featherweight champion Narantungalag Jadambaa of Mongolia defending against Mrat Gafuorv of Russia.  The show ill air live on one of the biggest TV channels in the country. --Real Canadian Wrestling runs a tour on 9/17 in Red Deer, Alberta at Festival Hall, 9/18 in Calgary at the Royal Canadian Legion 275 and 9/19 in Edmonton at Evansdale Community Hall. --A new comic called "Ringside" is described as pro wrestling meets Walking Dead meets The Wire will be launched in November. (thanks to Michael O'Brien) --WWE has a show set for 11/28 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. --Pro Wrestling Phoenix on Saturday night in Council Bluffs, IA at the National Guard Armory. --Stephen Amell stated that sales of the special T-shirt he commissioned and wore at SummerSlam raised $228,867.60 for Emily's Care, a children's hospice in Canada, in just six days. --XCW on Saturday night in El Paso:  Nicktendo b Adrian Hawkins, El Illeal b Hurricane Hector (who was Eddy Guerrero's best friend growing up), Lucha Star & Shadow Fox b Dean of Chaos, Danny Gee b El Dragon, Dom Vitalli b Aydan Colt. (thanks to Albert Cerda)\