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TUES. UPDATE: UFC cuts, WWE stock upgraded, new ROH vs. NJPW matches, and more

by David Bixenspan | davidbix@wrestlingobserver.comFollow @davidbix

TV/show notes for tonight:

Tough Enough is on USA Network at 8:00 p.m. E.T. with an episode titled "Who Are You?" Seth Rollins is "guest starring." Starting to wonder if it's hurting the show/viewership that they're not able to edit together promos for the next show since they're going week to week. They can't pick a favorite cast member to spotlight or anything like that, and the same problem hurt the "live" season of The Ultimate Fighter.

Total Divas' new season starts at 9:00 p.m. E.T. on sister network E! with an episode titled "Diva Divide." The Bellas face the harsh realities of quitting World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.; chaos breaks out in the Divas division when news of Eva's new role reaches the other ladies; Nattie explores a more domineering side of herself. Wait, dos that mean that in the Total Divas universe, the Bellas actually quit WWE for a while?

SmackDown and Main Event will be taped tonight in Milwaukee, WI. If you're attending and would like to write a spoiler report, please send it to


The newest issue of Figure Four Weekly is up on the site for subscribers (subscribe here) with an extensive look at the ongoing legal battle between Hulk Hogan and Gawker over their publication of a "highlight reel" of the sex tape with Heather Cole that was shot without his knowledge. Among the topics covered are:

* The origins of the video, including who was shopping it around.

* The schism between Hogan and Todd "Bubba the Love Sponge" Clem.

* Why Gawker sued he FBI and where that case is going.

And much more. Plus, as always, we have  all of the usual reviews and international news.

Also, now available for the first time on Kindle (meaning Kindle devices and anything with the Kindle app) is Fall Guys, the seminal 1937 book that has been described as being like the 1930s version of the Wrestling Observer. It was surprisingly not on Kindle already, so we put together a nice version with a full table of contents w/ chapter marks, proper formatting on everything, etc. Right now it's available from the AmericanCanadian, and Australian Amazon/Kindle stores OR you can also buy it from anywhere in the world on PayHip, who will provide you with both Kindle and ePub (every other e-reader) format files, and you can either sideload them to your device or have them email it to your Kindle. 


The story behind UFC losing perhaps its biggest fight of the year with Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor, update on WrestleMania and the match that isn't in the plans right now, the TNA-GFW situation and how it happened, and how many expect big changes in UFC very soon, multiple WWE related lawsuits, Tough Enough and the WWE & TNA monthly business rundowns are the lead stories in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

The latest Wrestling Observer: July 6, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Jose Aldo injury fallout, TNA/GFW mystery

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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 looks at the injury to Conor McGregor, what UFC attempted to do to save the fight, why the fight didn't happen, McGregor building up a later fight, how much does this change hurt, the positives of Mendes in the spot and the mentality of the PPV buyer.  We look at the key issues involved in the fight not happening.

We also look at why the TNA/GFW alliance took place, why TNA made the call to Jeff Jarrett, plans or non-plans going on, why this is beneficial to both, departures from TNA, where that talent would go next and more.

We look at why Saturday's UFC show in Hollywood, FL was the end of an era on several accounts, both from the uniform standpoint, as well as drug detection and weight cutting standpoints.  We also make a suggestion of something that is already done in other sports that UFC should implement, although it will never happen, as well as an example of why weight-cutting is done the way it is.

We also look at a lawsuit against WWE for making allegedly misleading claims that led to the stock price going way up, and then falling.  We look at a unique thing that came up regarding the key witness, stories changing, and if stories were legit to begin with.

We also look at the death of the bill to legalize MMA in New York, and how it went down.

We also have early notes on next year's WrestleMania, an update on Sting, how the main event planned is unique because it's out of WWE's control if it happens, more on Reign vs. Wyatt, the Japanese tour, ideas for the network in 2016, Japanese pro wrestler tryouts, Dolph Ziggler on his contractual situation, The Rock at the house show in Boston, Rock movie news, update on Tyson Kidd, update on WWE network, update on lawsuits against WWE, and notes on the new season of Total Divas.

We also look at awards WWE is nominated for, Randy Orton, WWE announcing, and notes on the weekend NXT and WWE house shows and business notes and highlights from all of the shows.

We've got coverage of the UFC show in Hollywood, FL, how the card fell apart beforehand, business notes on the show, and what should happen next for Yoel Romero.  We also look at TNA Slammiversary.

We've got a story on the new season of Tough Enough, what has and hasn't worked so far, notes on the ratings, notes on the competitors, who are said to be the favorites, what on the show is misleading and more on what is involved.

We also have our monthly business review for WWE & TNA, looking at monthly business in a number of categories.  We look at what categories are up, how far down are the ones down, and what one category with WWE that is significantly up and one that is collapsing.

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:

--New promotion that has had success dumps its two biggest stars

--A look at the All Elite show in Mexico City with several American stars brought in and others scheduled who had to pull out

--CMLL announces its next major big show main event

--Updates on reaction to the Busca de un Idolo tournament

--Notes on the last shows at Arena Mexico

--Notes on this year's TripleMania and why it is taking place so late in the year

--Some major injuries to Lucha Underground stars

--AAA signs a longtime CMLL star

--Rey Mysterio Jr. headlines for AAA's last TV tapings

--Why the Great Muta U.S. tour fell through

--An international promotion having money problems and having to cut back and losing wrestles in the process

--Notes on Dragon Gate's next major show including some U.S. tours appearing

--Notes on the NOAH upcoming junior heavyweight tournament

--Updates on New Japan business

--New Japan World G-1 notes

--Notes on New Japan's biggest main event of the week

--Notes on the New Japan U.S. television show

--Update on the original tiger Mask

--Genichiro Tenryu's final match

--Hiroshi Tanahashi appears on DDT major show

--Update on Bruno Sammartino

--Dave Bautista likely to land another major movie role

--Notes on this past week's PWG show including celebrities and four-star matches

--Notes on the next two PWG shows

--Young Bucks face Mysterio for the first time and notes no the show

--More talent appearing for Jarrett on shows

--Lots of news regarding the new NWA streaming service and Houston wrestling tape collection

--Another major streaming service announced

--Former WWE star set for a new E! reality show

--Another former WWE performer gets  into legal trouble

--Notes on pro wrestling books

--Update on former WWE star Nick "Eugene" Dinsmore

--Update on the WWC's last major show

--Former pro wrestler competing in high level bodybuilding contest

--One of the most reviled men of the last 50 years in wrestling is coming out of retirement once again

--Latest on Lucha Underground

--Notes on the ROH stadium show in Brooklyn

--Complete lineup for ROH's next iPPV show

--Notes on the next ROH show in Las Vegas

--Updates on TNA titles after this set of tapings

--Everything on TNA television through mid-August

--Update on problems with production people

--Update on health of Kurt Angle

--Update on Jeff hardy

--Former WWE star working for TNA behind the scenes

--Controversy over Anderson Silva drug test result

--Ronda Rousey ESPY award nominations

--Crazy UFC schedule over an eight day period

--Official UFC 187 numbers

--Update on C.M. Punk training

--UFC's return to Ireland announced

--Update Daniel Cormier vs. Alexander Gustafsson

--Lots of new UFC fights

--Aftermath of Ken Shamrock vs. Kimbo Slice

--Ken Shamrock talks about a fight with Frank shamrock

--More on Alexander Shlemenko suspension

--Foamer Pride star sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison

--An August battle of MMA legends falls through.

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.

Tuesday Daily Update

-- UFC has cut 14 fighters, the biggest names being Hatsu Hioki and Ryan Jimmo. This was originally reported by the UFC Fighters Info Twitter robot that tracks UFC website changes and was later confirmed by MMAFighting.  No real surprises, though Jimmo being released will get some interest because of how outspoked he's been as of late.

-- TheStreet has upgraded WWE stock to "buy."

-- Ring of Honor announced Kazuchika Okada vs. Roderick Strong and Killer Elite Squad vs. War Machine for the Field of Honor show in Brooklyn on August 22nd. 

-- With Biff Busick injured, Drew Galloway will be wrestling another match at this Saturday's Evolve show in Florida as a make good. He'll defend the Open the Freedom Gate Title against a challenger determined Friday night.

-- Brian Hoops sent in this note about the Super Clash III talk last night on Observer Radio: For whatever this is worth. Greg Gagne has always maintained that each promoter was to pay his own talent and thus the AWA guys were paid but Jarrett was to pay Lawler and Chavo Guerrero. That said, the Guerreros had been working for the AWA, not Jarrett, so that doesn't necessarily speak well to Gagne's claim.

-- A today in history note from Beau James: 30 years ago today Mid Atlantic started their monthly cards at Freedom Hall in Johnson City moving from D-B Dome in Kingsport. World Champion Ric Flair beat MagnumT.A. by DQ, World TV Champion Dusty Rhodes with Baby doll beat Tully Blanchard Dusty had won Baby doll the night before at The Great American Bash. World Tag Champions Ivan and Nikita Kolloff beat Jimmy Valiant and Manny Fernandez, Buddy Landell with J.J. Dillon beat Ron Bass. Superstar Billy Graham beat Johnson City's Kim Birchfield. two other matches I can not remember.

-- At MMAFighting, Dave has an article about the Frank Shamrock vs. Tito Ortiz fight, which is probably the best fight in pre-Zuffa UFC and was considered the greatest fight in UFC history when it happened. 

-- International Fight Week schedule of events for our friends at the Las Vegas Fight Shop:


12-2pm: Adidas presents LUKE ROCKHOLD! Kick off fight weekend by meeting the UFC Middleweight contender in store.
*VIP entry with Adidas purchase ($30+)

6-7pm: Bad Boy presents CHRIS WEIDMAN! Meet the UFC Middleweight Champ!
*Bad Boy Purchase Required ($30+)

6-7:30pm: UFC Octagon Girl ARIANNY CELESTE! Join Arianny after the weigh ins for her official 2016 Calendar Launch.
*Calendar purchase required ($20)

6-7:30: UFC Octagon Girl BRITTNEY PALMER! Meet Brittney with Arianny and pick up her new 2016 Calendar after the Weigh Ins.
*Calendar purchase required ($20)

7:30pm: Affliction presents RANDY COUTURE! Meet the UFC Hall Of Famer in store for the launch of his new Affliction "Living Legends" shirt.
*Affliction Living Legends Shirt purchase required ($58)

7:30pm: UFC Octagon Girl VANESSA HANSON! Welcome Vanessa to Las Vegas Fight Shop for the first time and get her limited edition poster signed!
*Poster Purchase required ($20)


10AM-12PM: Torque presents URIJAH FABER! Meet the California Kid!
*Torque purchase required ($35)

12-2pm: Affliction presents CAIN VELASQUEZ! Meet with the fromer UFC Heavyweight Champ before UFC189!
*Affliction Cain shirt purchase required ($48+)

2:30pm: Affliction presents MIESHA TATE! Who wants cupcakes? Meet Miesha in store and pick up her new Affliction tee.
*Affliction Miesha Tate shirt purchase required ($58)

All meet & greets include personal meet, photo op & signed item. Free autograph photo cards or posters are available. You may bring your own item. UFC gloves, belts, posters, etc are available in store for purchase.

-- New England Championship Wrestling returns to live action this Saturday night, July 11th at the 2015 Brockton Fair, 600 Belmont Street, Brockton, MA.  Bell time is 7 PM. Admission is FREE with your admission to the Fair so come enjoy all the rides, games, food and attractions, as well as a tremendous line-up of bouts you don't want to miss: In the main event, the NECW Heavyweight Championship is on the line as NECW Heavyweight Champion Slyck Wagner Brown battles a standout from the 2015 IRON 8 Championship, making his return to NECW, "The Pure Talent" Chris Escobar.

-- Limited standing room tickets are available for Absolute Intense Wrestling’s Absolution X this Friday night at the Ohio City Masonic Arts Center located at 2831 Franklin Blvd in Cleveland, OH Bell time will be at 7:30pm with doors opening at 6:45pm for a card headlined by Team AIW (The Young Bucks, Johnny Gargano, Josh Prohibition, & Alex Daniels) vs Dudes on TV (NXT’s Samoa Joe, The NewTNA Champion EC3, DJ Z, Raymond Rowe, & Matt Cross) in a Cleveland Street Fight. Yes, that's a match with wrestlers contracted to WWE, TNA, ROH, NJPW, Lucha Underground, and Evolve/WWN. Also, Tim Donst has announced that he's cancer-free and will return to the ring on this card.

-- BATTLE ARTS PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING: RISING STARS (Santino's promotion) returns to the Don Kolov Arena a week from Saturday, July 18th @ 7 p.m.

-- New interview with Matt Striker at The News Hub. Lots of interesting details about WWE announcing.

-- Steve Corino joins the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast this week to talk about the NJPW/ROH crossover, what it means to the business, adjusting styles, his heat w/ Homicide, working w/ Dusty Rhodes in ECW, Paul Heyman's greatest compliment, and more.

-- A reader is looking for 1 or 2 UFC 189 tickets for this weekend at "not insane prices," so if you've got some spares and are up for making a deal, email him at