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WED. UPDATE: WWE statement on Brock Lesnar car door throwing, UFC contender retires, and more

by David Bixenspan | davidbix@wrestlingobserver.comFollow @davidbix

TV notes for tonight:

NXT airs at 8:00 p.m. on WWE Network with Sasha Banks and a MYSTERY PARTNER vs. Dana Brooke and Emma, Solomon Crowe vs. Marcus Louis, Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady vs. The Vaudevillains for a tag title shot, Jason Jordan & Chad Gable vs. Elias Sampson & Steve Cutler, and Samoa Joe vs. Axel Tischer

Lucha Underground airs at 8:00 p.m. on El Rey with The Mack vs. Cage, Son of Havoc vs. Mil Muertes,  Alberto El Patron, AeroStar, Sexy Star & Drago vs. Johnny Mundo, Jack Evans, Super Fly & Hernandez in a relevos atomicos.

ROH airs at 8:00 p.m. on Destination America with Watanabe vs. Dalton Castle and ReDragon & Michael Elgin vs. The Kingdom & Adam Cole.

The last UFC Tonight before UFC 189 airs at 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

Impact Wrestling airs at 9:00 p.m. on Destination America has Dixie Carter returning and her beloved nephew, Ethan Carter III, defending the TNA Heavyweight Championship for the first time.

The season finale of The Ultimate Fighter airs at 10:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. Remember that the "TUF Talk" segment opens Fox Sports Live at 11:00 if you're DVRing the show.


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.


Wednesday Daily Update

-- There's been a lot of mainstream coverage of Aaron Zalewski, the husband of UFC Octagon Girl Brittany Palmer, being charged with her attempted murder after a domestic abuse incident. Even though it happened in Los Angeles and TMZ is the first to report on it (they're searching through local court records all day, every day), it took nearly a month for this to come out.

-- The New York Daily News picked up the story about how the gimmicked car door Brock Lesnar threw hit a fan during Raw on Monday, and WWE issued this statement:

WWE immediately responded to the incident during last night's show. The fan was unharmed and declined any medical attention.

-- The surgery to remove a benign tumor from Kurt Angle's neck was successfully completed yesterday by his long-tim neurosurgeon, Dr. Hae-Dong Jho. He posted a photo on Instagram with the surgical team where he thanked them.

--You've probably heard about this already, but a set of old WWE announcer notes got uploaded to an Imgur gallery and linked on Reddit, which led to it being picked up by a ton of sites, with Deadspin likely being the biggest. Dave first reported on the various announcing rules years ago, but I believe this is the first time a scan of the several years' worth of notes showed up with the rationale behind them. Your mileage may vary, but something like the ban on "title changes hands" makes more sense when you understand that the goal is to emphasize that titles are important prizes that are won are lost, as opposed to meaningless trinkets that change hands.

-- If you didn't see Total Divas last night, the preview for the rest of the season included Tyson Kidd's neck injury and Daniel Bryan telling Brie that he wasn't cleared to wrestle for the foreseeable future. Being that WWE hasn't officially acknowledged the nature of either injury and Bryan has kept quiet of the nature of his injury, it'll be interesting to see how both are handled.

-- UFC middleweight Costas Philippou has retired very quietly. The first sign of anything unusual was that he was removed from the UFC's rankings between cards, which is usually reserved for fighters who are suspended or cut. Then he set his Twitter account to protected and changed his avatar to a message that the account is now inactive and everyone should unfollow him. Per a tweet from UFC's Dave Sholler, Philippou told the promotion that he's retired and that was that.

A boxer turned MMA fighter and a Cyrprian expat turned New Yorker, he had an exciting style and had been a staple of the UFC rankings since a somewhat controversial stoppage win over Tim Boetsch, which was his fifth win in a row.  Between that win and his next fight, fellow Serra/Longo Fight Team member Chris Weidman won the middleweight title. Philippou left the team, it was publicly framed as him needing to leave to advance his career, and he three of his last four fights. Here's to hoping he does well away from fighting.

-- Mexico news from our friend Kris Zellner in The Lucha Report:

Erick Casas aka Heavy Metal announced today that he had a very serious accident happen to him in his home yesterday where he was smelling gas so he went to his heater and when he went to turn it on it exploded in his face. Metal said that he wasn't thinking about the amount of time the gas had already leaked and built up so when it was turned on the explosion was bigger than normal. Metal said that he suffered first and second degree burns on his face near his eyes and couldn't open his eyes all night last night. Metal said that he is now doing better and said that he won't miss any of his upcoming bookings and also hopes now to repair the gas leak so he can get a new heater. Metal also made sure to tell everyone that they need to be careful with any electrical devices in their homes because accidents can happen.

There was a press conference held today by the Distrito Federal Box y Lucha Commission to talk about the situation with Miss Janeth and the end of her hair match with Yuka last Sunday at the Leyendas Inmortales show. Janeth lost the match after taking a Martinete by Yuka and didn't get her head shaved in the ring only some of her hair cut and it was announced by Dr. Gustavo Zavaleta & El Fantasma that they decided not to shave her head because of the trauma she suffered from the Martinete. Dr. Zavaleta went on to say that he doesn't want Janeth to do anything strenous for the rest of the week but to answer the big hair question he did give the okay for her to have her head shaved but even then not all the way bald just a buzzcut. This was a point of controversy after the show on social media where fans were very upset over the stipulation not being honored so the commission had this press conference to clear up those doubts. Janeth said that this was the first time she lost her hair  and in Lucha Libre anything goes so she thanked her fans for their concern for her health.

EMLL announced tonight that next Monday's show at Arena Puebla would be streamed live on

Hijo del Fantasma stated recently that he wanted to face Barack Obama & Vladimir Putin in a match which was tongue in cheek but it actually got picked up by various news services even the Washington Free Beacon.

IWS is bringing in Drago & Fenix to work their show in Montreal on 9/5.

-- Scott Fishman talks to Daria about her Tough Enough elimination in an article for Channel Guide Magazine