We also include Dana White's reaction, and what is the probable new main event for UFC 146.
We also have an in-depth look at the WWE Hall of Fame, with the highlights from the speeches, notes about them, as well as a history of everyone that was involved. This is likely the biggest feature out there on the show.
We also have part one of our career bio on Chief Jay Strongbow, looking at both his pre-Jay Strongbow days as Joe Scarpa, and his WWWF run where he spent years as the No. 2 babyface, including his style, his role and his most remembered matches.
We also look at Randy Orton getting dropped from "The Marine" movie, an update on the WWE television network, lots more on television shows planned for the network, more on Legends House, Terry Taylor in WWE and his background with HHH, updates on WWE injuries including Wade Barrett, a very interesting John Cena story dating back 11 years ago last month, more on WWE movies, HHH talks the difference between being a wrestler and an executive, newcomer set to start on WWE television this week and Cena talks about the last year of his life. We also look at new WWE non-TV angles, what part of the company got a morale kick in the butt and Edge's future.
We also look at the ROH iPPV shows from the past week, talking about the technical issues, what was good and bad on the show, and coverage of both shows.
We also have a look at the Friday night ratings scoreboard.
We also have our in-depth look at the ratings of the national shows, including how every segment of Raw and Impact did, what gained in audience, and what lost in audience.
We also have our weekly features with the results from the major events held around the world over the past week, as well as reviews of the major television shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--One of the biggest independent crowds of the year as a gimmick that has drawn for nearly 30 years pulls another sellout
--Prince Devitt becomes a double champion
--An international promotion looks to syndicate TV in the U.S. and to run tours
--An interesting battle for Hispanic television in the U.S.
--Notes on the recent AAA TV tapings
--Coverage of the Dragon Gate USA shows over WrestleMania weekend
--Notes on the 2012 Champion Carnival tournament
--Open of the All Japan jr. heavyweight tag team tournament
--Notes on the upcoming Pro Wrestling NOAH tag team tournament
--Top worker fired for unique reasons
--Independent star signs contract overseas
--Notes on the open of this year's Japan Cup tournament
--One of the best high flyers and workers in the business set for a return in a few weeks
--More on the accidental death while watching WrestleMania
--NWA changes its leader
--Arrest of former Tough Enough winner Maven
--Notes on upcoming ROH shows
--Roderick Strong talks chair shots to the head
--Kurt Angle and his latest injuries and escapades, as well as his mother being scammed and his reaction
--Update on the Lockdown card
--TNA star gets his own TV series
--Victory Road PPV estimates
--Future of TNA twitter promotion
--Update on Ric Flair in TNA
--Changes in a major recent angle
--Update on Jeff Hardy
--A new No. 1 contenders fight in UFC
--Build of Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans
--Notes on the Atlanta PPV
--How many tickets have been sold for all the upcoming major UFC shows
--Update on King Mo's situation
--Update on the next Strikeforce show
--Name fighter says he will retire if he loses his next fight
--Who faces the Jones vs Evans winner
--Tons of new UFC matches
--Bellator second television show
--Next Bellator cardThe Most Popular Observers Ever
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)
*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
*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 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.
For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for 4, $33 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to
. For the rest of the world, rates are $15.50 for 4, $41 for 12, $78 for 24, $126 for 40 issues and $163 for 52 .
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
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., $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.
Monday's News, Notes & Links
--The UFC has filed a license request for Alistair Overeem to be licensed to face Junior Dos Santos on 5/26 in Las Vegas. The hearing will be on 4/24. There is a lot at stake for everyone involved right now in this situation.
--The California State Athletic Commission today upheld the full year suspension for Cris Cyborg for testing positive for Stanazolol. She, through her lawyer, claimed the substance she took was given to her by her coach as a weight loss aid. One member of the commission, John Frierson, introduced a motion to cut her suspension to six months for her willingness to appear and take responsibility, but nobody would second the motion. That would have been one scary bad decision.
--There is something to watch. Brianna & Nicole Garcia, the Bella Twins in WWE, are doing an autograph show on 5/19 at Frank & Sons in the City of Industry, CA. They are being advertised as "Brianna and Nichole, formerly The Bella Twins in WWE." We also got word of a convention in New Jersey that has them booked although is not advertising it yet and WWE talent is not allowed at their events. If they are not on television tonight, I'd read something into this.
Given Nikki Bella just beat Beth Phoenix in a non-title match at Smackdown, it wouldn't seem that they would be quitting or being let go today. There were rumors over the weekend that WWE had made some cuts but they wouldn't be announced until everything was finalized and everyone was contacted. WWE did not confirm anything regarding the Twins.
Regarding the 5/19 autograph signing, besides the Twins, also advertised are Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Vader, Bob Backlund, Superstar Billy Graham, Road Warrior Animal and Koko Ware. They have another one scheduled on 6/23 with Lex Luger, George Steele, Tito Santana and Rick Steiner. (thanks to Robb Block)
--C.M. Punk was on a TV morning show in Washington, DC, promoting tonight's show. When Steve Austin was brought up and him challenging Austin was talked about, he said he was above challenging Austin and that he's the champion and Austin is retired, so Austin should be challenging him. He was clearly working while saying that.
He did say that Rock had proved him wrong about his return and that he has a wait-and-see attitude on Brock Lesnar, saying that he already walked out once because he couldn't handle the pressure of being world champion. That's isn't why he walked out, but Punk could be angling for a potential match there as well, and quite frankly, Lesnar should be viewed as a wait-and-see given his track record.
--Smackdown did 2.72 million viewers on Friday, well below the pre-Mania numbers so no boost at all from Monday's Lesnar intrigue. Ultimate Fighter did 947,000 viewers, the lowest number for a first-run episode in the history of the show.
--Randy Orton retweeted something a fan sent in
saying "Everyone knows about Randy Orton past, so you offer him the movie part and then decide to drop him?" Unlike others, Orton is pretty much immune for the usual backlash when you say something on twitter that the company isn't happy with.
--Rashad Evans and Jon Jones were taped together for tomorrow night's Ultimate Insider TV show that airs at 10:30 p.m. tomorrow on Fuel. Apparently they went back and forth as you can imagine.
--The 5/12 Border Wars show in Toronto will be headlined by the Davey Richards vs. Kevin Steen ROH title match with the piledriver legal that they've been building up since December. Notable the match is in Toronto, as they clearly want Steen to be the babyface on that night. The match will be on iPPV. Kevin Kelly wrote yesterday it would be on iPPV but not Go Fight Live. We're told that some are unhappy Kelly put that out -- not that it isn't true, but that they haven't finalized a deal for a new carrier.
--Here's an update on legalization of MMA in New York
. The story notes how State Sen. Joe Griffin of Rome, NY, has sponsored a bill that he hopes will pass in the senate by the end of the month. The senate has passed it before but it always gets hung up in the Assembly.
What rating to you expect Raw to get tonight?
2.8 or less 1.9%
3.9 or more 3.8%
What describes most accurately your feelings right now toward Overeem vs. Dos Santos?
Overeem should be fired right now 40.8%
I hope Overeem's second sample comes up clean so we can have the fight 25.7%
He really should be fired, but I don't want him fired because of his marketability 14.8%
He needs to be out for at least one year 8.5%
He needs to be out for longer than one year because of how everything went down 7.4%
He needs to be suspended, but am hoping the suspension is short 2.8%
What was the best of these shows?
ROH night two 11.6%
UFC in Japan 8.6%
Strikeforce Tate vs. Rousey 5.1%
Dragon Gate night two 3.4%
Dragon Gate night one 1.7%
TNA Victory Road 1.7%
ROH Anniversary show 1.7%
WWE Elimination Chamber 1.0%
UFC Ellenberger vs. Sanchez 1.0%
ROH night one 0.7%
TNA Against All Odds 0.3%
What was the best TV show of last week?
Prime Time Evans vs. Jones 5.4%
Ultimate Fighter 3.5%
Inside MMA 1.2%
UFC Tonight 1.2%
Did you like the latest ROH TV show?
52.2% of those responding didn't see the show
--More notes on a seminar and tryout for All Japan Pro Wrestling on 6/2 in Deer Park, NY at the Sportatorium. This is a onetime event from noon to 4 p.m. that day with cardio conditioning, in-ring drills, matches, promos and ring psychology being talked about. You will be taught Japanese style wrestling from Keiji Muto and Kai of All Japan. Bring your attire because some people from the seminar may be asked to do a match later that night on the PWS show. Only 50 people will be allowed. Registration fee is $199. For more info go to
--The 6/2 show will feature Keiji Muto, Mil Mascaras and Vader all appearing.
--AAA booker Konnan and former WWE writer and MLW promoter Court Bauer are back on Radio MLW for free
and Stitcher radio
. In the latest show, they tell a story about Shawn Michaels not liking to lose.
--The funeral for pro wrestling announcer Miguel Alonso, made famous in the 70s on SIN which was syndicated around the country, and later in the 80s with WWF and 90s with WCW, will have the viewing on 4/13 from 5-7 p.m., the rosary from 7-9 p.m. and a service at 9 a.m. on 4/14 at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park and Mortuary at 4472 Lincoln Ave., in Cypress, CA. For more info you can call 800-204-3131. The public is invited. (thanks to Mike Lano)
--NWA Metro Pro Wrestling from Saturday night in Kansas City: Dey Osyleyz b Ice Man, ACH b Sir Bradley Charles, Kahagus b Jeremy Wyatt, Dingo b Dan Walsh, Mark Sterling b Tyler Cook, Dey Oysleyz b Mad Dog McDowell, Jeremy Wyatt b Michael Strider, Santana Garrett b Christina Von Eerie, Adam Pearce b Matt Murphy to retain NWA title. (Pearce lost the title to Colt Cabana last night). (thanks to Al Haft)
--Lion Fight Muay Thai VI on 5/12 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas headlined by WBC light heavyweight champion Joe Schilling vs. Simon Marcus.
--SoCal Pro Wrestling on 4/21 in Oceanside, CA at the Boys & Girls Club with a TLC match with Kid Caramba vs. Tommy Wilson as the main event.
--WSU has a DVD taping on 4/28 in Deer Park, NY at the NYWC Sportatorium with Jessicka Havoc vs. Mercedes Martinez as the main event. There is also a mixed tag team tournament for the King & Queen of the Ring on 4/14 in Dunnellen, FL at the Knights of Columbus Hall with the NWS promotion. Snitsky will be on that show.
--NWA Rampage Pro Wrestling on 4/15 at 3 p.m. at Johnny G's in Warner-Robins, GA for a TV taping.
--Traditional Championship Wrestling from Saturday night in Fort Smith, AR at the Convention Center before 600 fans: Greg Anthony b X-Cal, Boink the Clown (Matt Osborne) b Les Mayne, Dexter Hardaway b Dustin Heritage, Genetic Perfection b Richie Adams & Les Mayne, Jon Michael Worthington b Sigmon, Mickie James b Cheerleader Melissa, Matt Riviera b Jeff Jett, Shane Williams b Richie Adams, Tim Storm b Killer Nikels. Chris Cruise and Ken Resnick worked as announcers. Bobby Eaton works as an agent for this group. Next show is 5/5 in Pine Bluff, AR featuring Tammy Sytch, Ricky Morton, Boink and Eaton.
--GOUGE on 4/14 in Roxboro, NC at the National Guard Armory for a 7 p.m. show.
--NWS on 4/20 in Kearny, NJ at the Presbyterian Boys and Girls Club with Kevin Nash appearing as a referee. 4/27 in Manville, NJ at the VFW Hall has Fit Finlay, Danny Inferno and Mini Boogeyman.
--IWA East Coast on 5/4 in Clendenin, WV headilned by Rhino vs. B.J. Whitmer plus Mad Man Pondo and Chance Prophet.
--Tulalip Championship Wrestling on Saturday night in Marysville, WA: Calibur X b Ray Brooks, Kellen Raeth & Christopher Ryseck b Brickhouse Bereta & Dave Turner, Ethan HD b Exile-COR, Aaron Bolo & Damon James b Sid Sylum & Mike Santiago. Next show is 4/14 in Marysville, WA at the Pacific Rim Restaurant (thanks to Charles Short)