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 issue:
--Major anniversary of wrestling as one of the biggest wrestling arenas in the world coming this week
--Referee loses job over drug test
--Updates on the All Japan junior heavyweight tournament and NOAH tag team tournament
--New Japan vs. NOAH match added to next New Japan big shows
--Two former pro wrestlers this past week win election to public office, as well as the wife of a pro wrestler
--Updates on Scott Hall
--Another honor for Bruno Sammartino
--Update on Devon Nicholson Hepatitis story
--Notes on latest NWA title change
--Notes on the Urban Wrestling Federation, celebrity involvement, wrestlers signed and first PPV show
--A look at the Junior Hodge winner and what former WWE champion was his idol growing up because they shared the same high school coach and his remarkable high school record, one of the greatest in recorded wrestling history
--Former WCW and New Japan wrestler writes book about his experience and some funny notes of what he says and remembers and how he remembers things
--Baseball team channels pro wrestling for gimmick event
--70s star returns to wrestle in the city he had many of his most famous matches in
--New ROH matches
--More on TNA rebranding effort
--TNA hierarchy updates
--Ric Flair update
--Jeff Hardy update
--A look at the latest lawsuit filed against TNA
--Notes on the next TNA PPV show
--A look at TNA booking issues
--A look at what audience TNA is drawing well on television, but the other key audience it is doing poorly with
--Update on Desmond Wolfe
--Notes on major shows planned for the summer by TNA
--Update on health issues with a number of major UFC stars
--Thoughts on UFC 129 on PPV
--Why Mayhem Miller was the first Strikeforce fighter signed by UFC
--UFC requests Nevada commission to make changes regarding judging fights
--Update on Fedor vs. Henderson
--UFC adding new stations to its preview shows
--A look at the sport of wrestling in the U.S. and participation levels since the rise of UFC
--Lots of new UFC fights announced
--UFC ups marketing toward Hispanic audience
--Notes on this season of Ultimate Fighter
--Notes on the attempt to get Dream back together
--Bellator's last show and more on the championship weeks of this season
--Update on Ken Shamrock and Jens Pulver
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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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.
--Besides the appearances tonight of Mae Young, Ron Simmons and Lilian Garcia, to the surprise of almost nobody backstage there is a giant birthday cake saying "Happy Birthday Rock" or something along those lines. John Cena vs. The Miz for the WWE title is tonight's main event. One of the bigger ratings of the year is expected for tonight's show. Wrestlers from both brands are scheduled. A dark match has Cena & Randy Orton & Rey Mysterio & Christian vs. C.M. Punk & the Miz & Cody Rhodes & Alberto Del Rio. The Miami Heat dancers will be performing and Pitbull will also be performing.
--Injuries from last night included Brodus Clay needing staples in the back of his head. Christian was also pretty banged up from the ladder match. Jim Ross' broken hand was hurting. Nobody is expecting to miss any time.
--Michael Cole and Beth Phoenix had a twitter war so that could be building up a future program.
--Michelle McCool has mentioned on her twitter and in an interview that last night was her last match, as has been reported, and she's retiring from the ring.
--ROH officially announced the 6/26 show at the Hammerstein Ballroom will be the next iPPV show and will feature the return of Jay Lethal, who hasn't been in an ROH match since 2006.
--Dwayne Johnson was also in the news because his twitter indicated he knew about the Osama Bin Laden death within a minute after Keith Urbahn is credited with breaking the news.
--Mixed bar reports in the U.S. regarding crowds at UFC 129. Some up, most above average, and some down. One place in Pennsylvania saw the crowd about half usual because the cover charge was raised from $5 to $10 after UFC raised the price to the bar.
--GSP's injury was diagnosed as internal bleeding from the eye and he is expected to make a full recovery from it.
--Today would have been the 48th birthday of Ray "Big Bossman" Traylor.
--Best wishes to the former Pride of the Carolinas, Don Kernodle, who will be undergoing quadruple bypass surgery tomorrow.
--The WWE stock rose today to $10.83, so whatever sell off from the lowering of the dividend was a one-day deal.
--Speaking of Lilian Garcia, she was on The Dr's TV show that aired today. There was a segment where an audience member volunteered to get manscaped and waxed and it was Garcia's husband. They showed her in the crowd laughing as they were going through it and mentioned that was his wife (thanks to Mike Nason)
--A press conference today in Boston with Boston University and Chris Nowinski's Sports Legacy Institute announced the study of the brain of former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson, who committed suicide in February revealed he had chronic traumatic encephaloopathy (CTE). Given his own making sure his brain was donated to SLI would, his behavior at the end of his life and his years in the NFL would have made it a surprise if he didn't have CTE.
--A story on Big Show doing an episode of "Burn Notice" this coming season as a heel, described as a "low-IQ lowlife who works as a hired hand or more dangerous foes." His character was listed as 6-6 and 300 pounds with a long rap sheet. Why are they underplaying his size to that degree? Usually it's the other way around.
--Jeff Blatnick, Rashad Evans, Kurt Angle, Dan Gable, Rulon Gardner, Tom Brands, Kendall Cross and recent NCAA champs Anthony Robles, Darion Caldwell and Bubba Jenkins will be on hand with a number of actors and NFL stars for the Times Square U.S. vs. Russia wrestling meet on Thursday night.
--A video of Big Show talking with Brian Fritz about his relationship with Undertaker, when he knew he was being drafted (like the second his name was called), Rock returning, Edge retiring and even Dancing with the Stars at http://blip.tv/play/AYK4gjIC
--Dwayne Johnson has started his own charity drive this week. All proceeds from the Team Bring It T-shirts this week from the WWE shop web site will be donated to the Wounded Warriors Foundation.
--Murder One & A.J. Steele beat the Dark City Fight Club for the NWA tag titles on Saturday night in Warner-Robins, GA. The two teams have a rematch on 5/15, also in Warner-Robins for the NWA Rampage TV tapings.
--Chris Jericho will sit in for Nikki Sixx on Wednesday, hosting "Sixx Sense," a nationally syndicated radio music show. (thanks to Jeff Gagliardo)
--Poll on Smackdown
37.6% of those appearing didn't see the show
--Poll on Impact
47.3% of those appearing didn't see the show
--How many rounds do you think Jake Shields won against GSP?
--Best TV show of the past week
Tough Enough 26.6%
Countdown to UFC 129 9.2%
Prime Time: St. Pierre vs. Shields 9.2%
Ultimate Fighter 4.6%
Inside MMA 2.3%
MMA Live 1.7%
--Should Mark Hominick get a rematch with Jose Aldo?
--In Your Face Wrestling on 6/25 in Ballston Spa, NY
--NWA Smoky Mountain Wrestling on 5/21 in Kingsport, TN at the Civic Auditroium.
--Wrestlefest 2011 on 5/21 in Newark, CA at the Pavilion is an autograph show with Jimmy Snuka, Tony Atlas, Sean Waltman, Honky Tonk Man, Nasty Boys, Lanny Poffo, Bret Hart, DDP, Jimmy Hart, Amber O'Neal, Don Muraco, Greg Valentine, Ted DiBiase, Jim Neidhart, Sara Del Rey, Kevin Nash, Generation Me and Virgil scheduled to appear.
--Tribute to the Fairgrounds on 5/14 at the Nashville Fairgrounds featuring Jimmy Valiant, plus American Idol finalist Jackie Wilson, Dutch Mantel, plus Jerry Lynn vs. Nova Mike Bucci, Doug Gilbert & Tommy Rich vs. Wolfie D & Road Dogg and Dennis Condrey & Bobby Eaton vs. Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson.
--Wrestlers listed for the first UWF PPV this summer are Homicide, Ruckus, Slyck Wagner Brown, Joel & Wil Maximo, Murder One, Rasche Brown, Scorpio Sky, E.C. Negro, K.C. Blade Brian XL, Ricky Ortiz (former WWE wrestler), Grim Reefer, Qeenan Creed, Dope, Lance Lude, Bestia 666 and Eddie Carnage.
--The Steve Austin movie "Hunt to Kill" has been released on DVD and Blu-ray in Australia (thanks to James Stanios)
--CHIKARA is doing a tribute to Larry Sweeney with a 12 Large tournament on 5/21 in Easton, PA at the Palmer Center with Claudio Castagnoli, Jigsaw, Sara Del Rey, Fire Ant, Brodie Lee, Vin Gerard, Hallowicked, Icarus, Ultramantius Black, Amasis and Mike Quackenbush as they battle in a tournament to crown the first CHIKARA champion.
--Reader John Nicoll noted Michael Cole using the word "wrestling" last night during Alberto Del Rio's ring entrance. They were talking about his Greco-Roman background, and the term is believed to be okay when describing the sport of wrestling.
--Next Level Wrestling on 5/12 in Knoxville at The Zone Sports Complex with Paul Birchill, Rob Conway, Nick Dinsmore, Mike Mondo, Cliff Domino Compton and current Strikeforce fighter Ovince St. Preux.
--A 10 man War Games headlines the 5/8 CWE show in Winnipeg at Rockbar on Pembina Highway. Also on the undercard is Nick Eugene Dinsmore and WWE contracted talent Illena vs. Jordyn Brooks in a battle of Lance Storm trained women.
--WWEClassic.com have uploaded May videos with a Latino theme, with a lot of matches with Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio, as well as the final WCW Clash of the Champions, Viva Las Divas, a Trish Stratus vs. Melina match from 2005 and the Christian vs. Edge ladder match.
--NWS on Saturday night in Brick, NJ: Mike Dennis b Bobby Youngblood, Spyral b Manuel Manny Moore, Slayer b Joey Janela, Chris D'Andrea b A.C. Kewl, The Equalizer & J.D. Smoothie & Nicky Oceans DDQ Ali & Illegal Outer Space Alien & Steve Zapf, Johnny 'Ringo b Rocco Dorsey, Ray Ray Marz b Judas Young, Carlito b Danny Inferno
--Pro Wrestling Phoenix from Saturday night in Council Bluffs, IA: Sir Bradley Charles b Darin Corbin, Branden Juarez NC Darren Russell, Shawn Nautilus b Supafli & Sean Cruz, Matty Star b Zac James & Ryan Slade, Jimmy Rockwell b Mad Dog McDowell-COR, Arik Cannon b Zack Sabre Jr., Brian Gott & Derek Cornell b Joey Daniels & Zach Thompson, Angelus Layne b Joey Daniels-DQ, Preston Maxwell b Abu Colossus, Jaysin Strife & David Clark b Tony Cortez & Akira Tozawa
--Eastern Wrestling Alliance on Friday night in Feeding Hills, MA at the Springfield Turnverein.
--NWS on 5/6 in Manville, NJ at the VFW Hall featuring Kurt Angle, Carlito and Smith Hart, and 5/7 in North Middletown, NJ at St. Catherine's Church Gym with Carlito, Kurt Angle and Smith Hart there as well.
--Our condolences to Kevin Martin, who wrestles as Corey Havoc. His father died on Saturday night. He got the word just as the NWS wrestling show was about to start. Martin performed at the show, not letting on that anything was wrong.
--AAW on 5/13 in Merrionette, Park, IL featuring Sabu, Shane Douglas, Stevie Richards, Nova, Blue Meanie, plus Alex Shelley vs. Michael Elgin, Jimmy Jacobs vs. Arik Cannon, Zero Gravity vs. Irish Airborne, and Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins will also appear.
--Great North Wrestling on 5/14 in Hawkesbury, ONT with Devon Nicholson and Jim Duggan headlining.
--Florida Underground Wrestling on 5/3 at the Gasoline Alley Cafe in Largo, FL with Bruce Santee vs. Fidel Sierra.