We also have our usual weekly features with results of the major arena shows from around the world, and the major TV show rundowns and reviews.
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Also in this week's issues:
--Return of CMLL to U.S. television
--68th anniversary of pro wrestling at Arena Coliseo in Mexico City
--A look at the death of a wrestler turned movie villain
--Heels talk about their belief heeling is a lost art and complain why
--TripleMania date announced
--Promotion feuding with leading magazine
--AAA starts pushing new talent
--Japanese star tries to put together an all-star charity show and major star from the last decade says he'll come out of retirement for it
--Notes on the 2011 Champion Carnival tournament
--ROH tag champs head to NOAH for its annual tag tournament
--More on New Japan coming to the U.S. for a tour
--Hall of Famer in Japan has his first match against the son of a major former rival
--Update on Jinsei Shinzaki and his plight after all the troubles he's had after the earthquake
--Update on plans for a major feature movie on one of the greatest pro wrestlers in history
--A look at Memphis Heat, business, reviews and notes about the movie and its future
--A sleazy promoter and sleazy athlete combine for a story
--Larry Zbyszko talks Chris Jericho
--More notes on Lockdown
--Update on the Bellator tournaments and future shows
--Granddaughter of one of the most famous wrestlers in history and her sex with a minor charges case comes to a close
--A look at Kurt Angle's latest arrest
--Hulk Hogan now working indies?
--Former TNA wrestler looked at regarding a return
--Plenty of TV craziness
--A look at the last weekend of TNA shows
--Updated UFC PPV estimates
--Jon Jones' drawing power
--A look at UFC's July PPV
--A very interesting statement made by Spike TV head about something they are talking about for the fall
--A look at the Thiago Silva drug case
--Update on Fedor Emelianenko
--Future of Mirko Cro Cop
--Future Spike UFC shows
--A controversy regarding medical suspensions
--Another foreign champion comes into the Zuffa fold next week
--Several UFC cuts
--Women fighters feud on the radio
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues can get free issues from the last 18 years. You can get 2 free back issues by ordering 40 or more
issues and one for 24. Let us know which stories 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 18 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
*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
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career
ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career
and life of The Sheik)
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people
who worked with him and where he stands historically)
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino,
Backlund and Backlund era)
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally,
the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth, and the rise of fall of
*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
*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
*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
*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
*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
*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
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam 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
*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
*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)
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If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
We also have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about
the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk,
Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods. To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
--Scott Coker at the top of the Strikeforce press conference noted that Mike Kyle broke his hand in training yesterday so he's out of the fight with Gegard Mousasi on 4/9 in San Diego. A replacement is expected to be named shortly. He also said rumors that Fedor Emelianenko's contract had been dropped by Zuffa were not true and that Emelianenko is going to be fighting in late July.
--As of this morning, no replacement had been finalized for Jon Fitch, who was injured and had to pull out of the 7/2 UFC fight with B.J. Penn. I would expect a name to surface relatively soon.
--We're looking for some new reporters for these shows: Tough Enough on Mondays, Ultimate Fighter on Wednesdays and AAA & CMLL on the Galavision weekend spots.
--The original plan that has been kept secret was for all the current Divas together to induct Tammy Sytch into the Hall of Fame. The idea is she will then be known as The Original Diva.
--WrestleReunion has announced they are coming to Toronto from April 13-April 15, 2012 at the Doubletree by the Hilton at the Toronto Airport.
--Last night's Ultimate Fighter show did 1.0 rating. That's the lowest season opener in history, and that's with Brock Lesnar, who was expected to be a huge ratings draw. The thoughts this would be one of the two or three biggest seasons ever don't look good at all.
--The Phoenix New Times, which is an award winning paper, has a story on Superstar Billy Graham this week at http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com
I haven't read the entire story yet, but everything I've ever read from that paper is topnotch.
--John Cena & Randy Orton vs. The Miz & C.M. Punk is advertised as the main event of the 5/10 Raw house show in Highland Heights, KY (thanks to Brian Henke)
--Chris Jericho did the Gayle King Show, live on radio and television this morning. He's also doing the Joy Behar Show with Robin Quivers as guest host, The Rachel Ray Show (that airs on 4/5), Opie & Anthony tomorrow morning at about 8:30 a.m., Good Day New York tomorrow morning at about 9:40 p.m., Sirius shows in the afternoon tomorrow and filming for AP TV tomorrow.
--Alex Marvez talks to Jerry Lawler about WrestleMania, and the Andy Kaufman feud at http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/60667
Lawler said he doesn't think there's any way Cole can screw up the match.
--WWE is returning to Calgary and Edmonton with Raw taped on 8/22 in Edmonton and Smackdown taped on 8/23 in Calgary.
--Regarding the possibility that if Jake Shields wins the UFC welterweight title and he remains Strikeforce welterweight champion if they would fight, Nick Diaz said he was mad somebody even would ask him that question. He said he and Shields are real training partners, not like Jon Jones and Rashad Evans were.
--A press conference was held in Brantford yesterday for the indie show that is billing Hulk Hogan to appear. Robbie McAllister was the only wrestler at the press conference. They announced Brooke Hogan would be doing the halftime entertainment, yes at a wrestling show, plus there would be a Brooke Hogan after party at a local bar. The promotion has said they are looking at drawing 4,000 fans. Their last show without Hogan did 1,000.
--Canadian independent wrestler Devon Nicholson said that he had a WWE deal in 2009, underwent the medicals and found out he had Hepatitis C, and thus the company rescinded their offer. He blames it on his matches on the indie scene with Abdullah the Butcher at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWcpiHiBroM
I don't know that he'll get another shot given that he shot on Tommy Dreamer in the middle of a worked match a few months back.
--The first WrestleMania took place 26 years ago today in Madison Square Garden. The current Observer has a long story on the background of that first show.
--The WWE Hall of Fame ceremony in Canada will air on The Score on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. with some replays later in the week. Still no word on Tough Enough in Canada (thanks to Paul Fontaine)
--Weigh-ins for tomorrow night Strikeforce show, the first Strikeforce show since Zuffa purchased the company, take place at 5 p.m. today in Stockton at the Lexington Waterfront Hotel. They are open to the public. The show airs live tomorrow night at 11 p.m.
--Michael Langan has 2 Hall of Fame tickets, Section 114, Row G and two Axxess tickets for Friday (6-10 p.m.) and Saturday (12-4 p.m.) that he wont be using since he's instead going to Dragon Gate USA and ROH shows. Face Value is $91 for Hall of Fame and $50 for Axxess but is willing to negotiate. He's at
--Georgia Championship Wrestling is doing a benefit for Susan Meeks, who was Dusty Rhodes' assistant when Rhodes was doing Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling, and is battling colon cancer, with a show called "A Night for Susan" on 4/9 in Douglasvile, GA. Ernest Miller, Jimmy Powell and referees Charlie Smith and Scrappy McGowan are there, with a main event of Steve Corino vs. Glacier, Mike Sanders vs. Buddy Lee Parker, plus Joel Deaton, Giant Ron Studd and Bambi & Peggy Lee Leather.
--The wwe.com Internet PPV appears still not to work in some foreign countries. It was noted to us that if you live in a country where WrestleMania is not available, the credit card billing process for the web site ordering of the show doesn't seem to verify any address outside North America. This is a problem WWE has had for years. Reader Markus Gronemann noted he's had the problem in the past and been told they are working on rectifying it, but he's had no problems ordering shows on GoFightLive or UFC.com in less than a minute. He as given a message that the company is working diligently to fix it but can't give a time frame to when this will change.
--Ricardo Almeida announced today he was retiring after his loss on 3/19 to Mike Pyle. This is the second time Almeida retired, the first being in 2004.
--A long set of videos on the new season of Tough Enough is at http://tv.ign.com/articles/115/1158539p1.html
Steve Austin said this would not pull back the curtain as much as other seasons. Booker T also talks about the difference between WWE and TNA.
--Poll on MMA drug testing
UFC should implement its own very strict Olympic testing because you can't count on government funded testing in this economy to take care of the problem 68.8%
Current testing keeps PED's out so they should continue to do what they do 19.6%
There should be no drug testing because it's inherent in competitive sports and too easy to beat 11.6%
--Do you expect Hulk Hogan in TNA in 2012
--Do you expect a Rock vs. Cena match before the end of this year
--Dr. Keith show on the front page has an interview with Johnny Gargano talking about this weekend's Dragon Gate USA shows and being in Japan when the earthquake hit.
--In an interesting breakthrough, the U.K. actors union Equity has unanimously approved a motion to allow pro wrestlers to join the actors union.
--Showtime All-Star Wrestling on 5/14 at the Fairgrounds in Nashville has a Make-a-Wish Foundation show featuring The Midnight Express, Dennis Condrey & Bobby Eaton, against Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson, the Rock & Roll Express, plus Doug Gilbert & Tommy Rich vs. Wolfie D & Road Dogg, Brian Christopher & Kevin White vs. Tracy Smothers & Chris Hamrick, Mike (Simon Dean) Bucci vs. Jerry Lynn and an appearance by Dutch Mantel.
--In the Texas state high school hockey finals a few days ago, there was a brawl which included one of the kids using a Karl Gotch style piledriver (Jerry Lynn style). Clips are at http://www.youtube.com/wqtch?v=kOyw8z1e6WY
(thanks to Jason Hagholm)
--The Dynamite D Memorial wrestling show takes place 4/9 in Newhall, CA at the American Legion Hall. Dynamite D, better known as Darren McMillen, was a Southern California indie wrestler and radio personality.
--All Pro Wrestling in the San Francisco Bay Area on Ch. 50 has been canceled. KFTY said they were taking on a new programming direction and getting rid of a lot of the paid programming slots. APW was told they could pay more for the slot or move to 1:30 a.m. while paying the rate they had been paying.
--Former UFC fighter Shonie Carter debuts in pro wrestling on Sunday at the ACPW show in Oaks, PA. Lauren Mayhew, who worked very briefly for WWE is also on the show.
--Matt Borne is running a show on 4/9 in Freehold, NJ at the 3-2 Count Gym. It's billed as a family friendly show based on the early days of wrestling. I hope that doesn't mean 3 hour main events and those handlebar moustache looking dudes. Well, they are doing a 75 minute Iron Man match and a TLC match, plus a taped fist match.
--Tuesday night in Guadalajara: Leo b Quka, Infierno & Malefico b Black Metal & Virgo, Metal Blanco & Palacio Negro b Inquisidor & Raziel, Delta & Metro & Sangre Azteca b Euforia & Misterioso Jr. & Virus, Hector Garza & Volador Jr. b Rush & Toscano
--Promociones Cantu in Nuevo Laredo on Monday night: El Brazo & Persues & Yuriko b Decnis & Tito Santana & Sobredosis, Hombre sin Miedo & Rio Bravo II & Super Fly b Aero Star & Argenis & Laredo Kid, Dr. Wagner Jr. & Extreme Tiger b Silver Kain & Ultimo Gladiador (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--Kaiju Big Battel is coming to the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in Manhattan on 4/9 at 7 p.m.
--Tuff N Uff: Future Stars of MMA will be 4/8 in Las Vegas at the Orleans Hotel Mardi Gras Ballroom headlined by Eddie Jackson defending the welterweight title against Lee Henry Lilly.
--Besides ROH, GoFightLive.tv had iPPV of Recife Fighting Championships MMA at 5 p.m. tomorrow, Xtreme Caged Combat Primal Fury at 6:30 pm. tomorrow, AFC 5 on Saturday at 9 p.m., and Combat at the Cabaret on Saturday night at 9 pm.
--NWA Main Event tonight in Nashville at the NWA Arena.
--B.G. James has been added as a vendor guest at the Kevin Nash & Sean Waltman WrestleMania party tomorrow night in Atlanta at the Sutra Lounge. Mike Sanders is also coming. You can email
for more info. Doors open at 8 p.m.
--Absolute Intense Wrestling on 5/20 and 5/21 in Lakewood, OH at St Gregory's Byzantine Hall with a two-night tournament. Names announced are Mad Man Pondo, Tim Donst, Sonjay Dutt, Shiima Xion and Jimmy Jacobs among others. It'll be a 24-man tournament total.
--When Marty Jannetty was asked if he would attend the Shawn Michaels Hall of Fame induction he said, "I want to be there but the cab ride from where I am is over 22 dollars and 23 cents, give or stank a dolla..." (thanks to Matt Ficke)