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:
--More on a huge indie show that sold out a major arena and what was the reason
--Latest from Arena Mexico
--Former WCW star will go back to his 90s identity
--Two proteges of Lance Storm debut in AAA
--Jeff Jarrett's return to Mexico against two former WCW stars
--Tell Joseph Park that Abyss has resurfaced
--All Japan jr. tag title tournament finishes
--Next big All Japan show
--NOAH title matches over the past week
--Update on the NOAH tag team tournament
--Members of the 2012 Best of the Super Junior tournament
--Update on whether pro wrestling will be allowed in Oklahoma
--What was the issue in it temporarily being shut down
--Sports Illustrated on Jay Strongbow and notes on him
--Shane Douglas tries to revive the spirit of ECW one more time and notes on his first show
--Autobiographies of two major stars have just come out
--Notes from WrestleReunion in Toronto
--Why WrestleReunion is closing up shop
--Update on Bruno Sammartino
--Jack Brisco teamed with Dory Funk Jr. at least twice
--Former UFC heavyweight making his pro wrestling debut
--One of the biggest stars of the 90s looks to be doing an autobiography
--Notes on the Border Wars ROH iPPV from Toronto
--More on Kurt Angle pulling out of the Olympic trials and the publicity it got
--Notes on TNA after the TNA and Spike meetings last week
--Some television changes
--What Dixie Carter would like to do differently
--Update on the Ring Ka King promotion and what TNA star is about to get married on Ring Ka King TV
--Notes on future TNA storylines
--Problems for the fighters training for the May 26 UFC show
--Problems with the UFC going to Rio de Janeiro in June
--Idea of UFC doing several developmental promotions
--Bad news for UFC when it comes to mainstream opinion in New York
--What age groups like and hate UFC
--More on the Jones vs. Evans fight
--UFC legend talks about wanting to try WWE
--Notes on court cases for pirating UFC being settled out of court
--New UFC fights
--Chael Sonnen starts a new business
--World champion may be leaving the promotion without losing his title
--The return of K-1 and Mirko Cro Cop fighting again
--Lots of notes from the Super Fight League in India behind the scenes including a brawl
--Why Frank Trigg was fired from HDNet
--A fighter worth paying attention to overcoming a handicap
The 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.
Sunday's News, Notes & Links
--Dana White last night said that an announcement would be made on Tuesday regarding the Brazil show. He indicated that they couldn't do the show on either 6/16 or 6/23, but wanted the right venue for Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen, which may mean delaying it (since UFC is committed to 7/7 in Las Vegas and 7/21 in Calgary, the earliest for a PPV in a new location would be August, but it could be added to the 7/7 Vegas show). He talked about Las Vegas, a stadium in Brazil or Toronto as possible locations for an event that big.
For 5/26, it's now Junior Dos Santos vs. Frank Mir for the heavyweight title, Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva, and he said Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve was not going to be changed. That leaves an opening for Roy Nelson. Both Ben Rothwell and Travis Browne scored one minute wins as heavyweights and may be able to do the quick turnaround, although Browne spoke last night about how much he missed his kids training in Albuquerque. After being blasted by the 6-foot-7, 250 pound Browne, Chad Griggs said he was moving to light heavyweight. Most guys his size fight at light heavy.
While he didn't do it on the air, backstage Mac Danzig said that he wanted to face Nate Diaz. He said he knows he needs three impressive wins in a row to get a match with Diaz, but that's his goal.
Just so you know, in the Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans fight, both judges who scored it 49-46 gave the first round to Evans. I don't see how that's possible, but it really doesn't matter unless Jones goes on a GSP streak where he never loses rounds.
White last night said that despite B.J. Penn going on TV last week saying that he considered himself retired, that Penn told him last week that he wanted to fight again.
--A big topic of conversation over the weekend was Eddie Alvarez, who knocked out Shinya Aoki on Friday night in the Bellator main event in the final fight of his contract. Alvarez is now in the unique situation where he's going to be able to play a UFC offer against a Bellator offer. Even though he lost his title to Michael Chandler, Alvarez is still Bellator's biggest star and Viacom isn't going to want to lose him right before moving to Spike next year.
--A note that longtime reader and former newsletter writer Brian Smith suddenly passed away this past Tuesday
at the age of 53. Smith was a fourth grade teacher at Jennings School and collapsed in his classroom and died on the way to the hospital. His students didn't see it as they were at art class and when he didn't come to bring the students to lunch, a staff member went to look for him and found him on the floor in his classroom. He had been teaching for 30 years
--The Las Vegas Review-Journal
had a story this weekend on Paul Vachon
, who was at the Cauliflower Alley Club banquet this past week.
--The WWE tour ended yesterday and the talent is headed from Europe to Detroit for Raw, which will be the end of a long stretch for some that began on 4/9. Others end the stretch on Tuesday. Overall, it was very quiet on the European front. Crowds were very good for the most part. No incidents made news and that's out of the ordinary for a European tour. Usually something happens.
What was the best of these matches?
Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin 3-23-97 Chicago 45.1%
Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada 6-30-94 Tokyo 18.6%
Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon ladder match 3-20-94 Madison Square Garden 6.8%
Steiners vs. Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki 3-21-91 Tokyo 6.3%
Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas vs. Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi 5-25-92 Sendai 5.4%
Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi 10-31-98 Tokyo 4.9%
Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi 6-11-99 Tokyo 3.3%
Manami Toyota vs. Kyoko Inoue 5-7-95 Tokyo 2.6%
Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki 4-21-93 Osaka 2.4%
Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jumbo Tsuruta 6-8-90 Tokyo 2.3%
Jushin Liger vs. Naoki Sano 1-31-90 Osaka 1.2%
Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Steve Williams & Johnny Ace 6-7-96 Tokyo 1.0%
What did you think of MMA Uncensored on Thursday?
77.5% of those responding didn't see the show
What did you think of Thursday's Impact?
47.4% of those responding didn't see the show
--Tons of 1960s footage of the biggest names
is up on this YouTube channel
(thanks to Angel Aramboles)
--There was a GLOW women's show on Monday in Henderson, NV, near Las Vegas, with many of the women that were there for the Cauliflower Alley Club, and several of the women were not paid
. The promoter was Eric Rolfe Nyenhuis.
--C.M. Punk will be singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch at the 5/8 Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field.
--TMZ.com ran a piece on Ted DiBiase Jr. visiting children at Batson's Children's Hospital in Mississippi at http://www.tmz.com
--Uhaa Nation of Dragon Gate USA underwent knee surgery this past week.
--In Canada, there is a TV show called "Verdict" which is a weekly on-line fiction series where viewers watch the TV show and act as jurors, voting guilty or not guilty as a trial plays out before their eyes. The series started a few weeks ago and will have 15 episodes. A five-minute episode called "Boiling Point"
features former UFC star Keith Jardine plays a construction worker who comes to the aid of a victim of a purse snatching, and is then arrested and put on trial for usage of excessive force. (thanks to Mike McIntyre)
--Chris "The Hammer" Holland faces Phil Baroni in the main event on 6/2 in Broomfield, CO at the First Bank Center. There will also be a pro wrestler appearing on the show, Chad Wicks faces Leandro Veal, a former player with the Denver Broncos. Chad Wicks wrestled in WWE as part of The Dicks tag team with the former Tank Toland. They had played cousins in OVW. Chad was actually an awesome pro wrestling character with his facials and everything, but wasn't a good fit for WWE because he was short and given a death gimmick.
--Entertainment Weekly's Summer Movie Preview, in noting the movie "Magic Mike," starring Channing Tatum, mentions Kevin Nash as one of the stars along with Matt Bomer and Matthew McConaughey. Nash is in four movies this year--"Rock of Ages," "Magic Mike," "The Association" and "The Newest Pledge." (thanks to Mike Millerick)
--Rey Misterio Sr. has resigned as head of the Box y Lucha commission in Baja California (Tijuana) to go back to promoting shows. Due to it being a conflict of interest, he could not promote shows while he held that office.
--Monday CMLL in Puebla: Black Tiger & Dinamico & Tiger Rojo b Akron & Ares & Karissma, Hooligan & Loco Max & Nitro b Dragon Lee & Pegasso & Stigma, Marcela b Princesa Sugei to keep women's title, Black Warrior & Delta & Guerrero Maya Jr. b Ephesto & Misterioso Jr. & Vangelis, Diamante Azul & La Mascara & La Sombra b El Terrible & Rey Bucanero & Volador Jr.-DQ
--Tuesday CMLL in Guadalajara: Esfinge b Infierno, El Hijo del Signo & Magnum b Hombre Bala Jr. & Leo, Amapola & Tiffany b Marcela & Silueta, Misterioso Jr. & Okumura b Sagrado & Valiente, La Mascara & Maximo & La Sombra b Averno & Mephisto & Ephesto (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--USWO from Friday night in Nashville before 66 fans: Big Time Sexy & J.T. Smooth b Danny Copass & Cody Green, Lightning Bolt Kid b Saint, Josh Crow b Shabba Shabbazz, Steven Green b Damien Payne, Tim Renesto b L.T. Falk, Jeff Daniels NC Gary Valiant (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
--HWA Heartland Cup from Friday night in Hamilton, OH: Remi Wilkins b Billy Roc, Gerome Phillips b Nick Cutler, Alex Colon b Dave Crist, D.J. Hyde b Chrisjen Hayme, Drake Younger b Jesse Emerson in a no DQ match, Jon Murray & Clark Konnor b Lord Matthew Taylor & Dre Jacobs, American Wrestling Warriors and DNA, Steve Corino b Ron Mathis, Jake Crist b Chad Collyer, B.J. Whitmer b Michael Elgin (thanks to Adam Sanders)
--In Your Face Wrestling on 5/18 in Amsterdam, NY at the America's Best Value Inn has Fit Finlay & Bobby Fish vs. Bobby Ocean & Drake Evans, Val Venis vs. Fronz Roddy and Lanny Poffo appearing.
--Traditional Championship Wrestling on 5/5 in Pine Bluff, AR at the Convention Center has Bash at the Bluff with Tammy Sytch, Ricky Morton, Boink the Clown (Matt Borne), Bobby Eaton, with Chris Cruise and Ken Resnick announcing. They have a TV taping on 6/2 in Fort Smith, AR at the Convention Center with Jim Duggan and Disco Inferno and a show on 7/4 in Benton, AR, with Duggan as the headliner.
--IHWE held its annual Texas Wrestling Hall of Fame ceremony yesterday in Fort Worth. They honored Jazz (Carlene Begnaud) who got her start in he area, Kamala (who accepted via phone call), The Dallas Sportatorium (yes, the building, which I understand did not to an acceptance speech nor does it exist any longer) but David Hightower, the former business manager of the building accepted, as well as Krusher Kong, Spoiler 2000 and Prince Al Farat. Next year they will honor Killer Karl Kox. Kox's family was at yesterday's ceremony. (thanks to David Farmer)
--EWF from last night in Converse, IN: Mr. Fitness & Frank Stein b Andy Santos & Kyle Cassidy, K.T. Williams & Lamar Johnson b Mike King & Hank Calhoun, Scotty Young won three-way over Jake Omen and Ryan Epic, Tolerant Zero b Parker James, Bobby Steele b Wondercat, Osyris b PJB, Mark Vandy b Roderick Street, Carlito b Troy Miller
--Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling from last night in East Carondelet, IL before 230 fans: Ron Powers b Jimmy D, Bobby D b Super Castaligno, Max Archer d LMC, Chris Hargas & Dave Vaughn b Tony Raze & Alexander Rudolph, Big Texan & Waco b Gary Jackson & Chas Wesson, Ricky Cruz b Sean Vincent with Ron Powers as referee. Next sow is 5/19. (thanks to Larry Matysik)
--CWF Mid Atlantic from last night in Burlington, NC before 200 fans: Ric Converse b Robyn Golphyn, Arrick Andrews b Cedric Alexander, Jason Miller b Coach Gemini & Coach Montgomery, Trevor Lee & Ben Tyler b Joe Black & Matt Smith, Ray Kandrack b Bobby Wohlfert, Nick Richards & Donnie Dollars b Chase Dakota & Cecil Scott, Arik Royal b Evan Banks, Adam Page b Walter Eaton. Next shows are 5/5 in Burlington and 5/12 in Greensboro (thanks to Brad Stutts)
--C4 Wrestling from last night in Ottawa before 275 fans: Lionel Knight & Christopher Bishop b The Afterparty, Tyson Dux b Mike Rollins, Buxx Belmar b Shane Matthews, Beef Wellington b Shayne Hawke, Frankie the Mobster b Darkko, Michael Von Payton b Rahim Ali, Twiggy b Jodi D'Milo, Sebastian Suave & Mathieu St. Jacques & Thomas Dubois b Scotty O'Shea & Brent B & Jae Rukin, Mike Bailey b Eddie Kingston. Next show is 5/12 in Ottawa and they also run 5/19 in Montreal with Steve Corino. (thanks to Dave Musgrave)