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:
--Yet another new idea for a pro wrestling tournament
--Arena Mexico 56th anniversary show
--Update on All Japan Champion Carnival tournament
--Update on NOAH tag team tournament
--Tatsumi Fujinami 40th anniversary show
--A look at highlights of Fujinami's career
--Two Japanese sports legends meet in the ring for the first time
--President of one of the biggest wrestling companies in the world works as a heel manager on a minor show
--Former MMA heavyweight champion signs to make pro wrestling debut next month
--Update on Buff Bagwell's injuries
--Famous anniversaries in recent weeks
--The latest ECW revival attempt
--U.S. Olympic trials
--New books coming out
--Former WWE wrestler now fighting MMA
--ROH back on the road
--Lockdown PPV estimates
--PPV main event being tried out on the road
--The last episode and the future of Ring Ka King
--Looking at taping TNA television on the road
--Update on James Storm
--Notes on upcoming TNA television
--TNA house show notes
--Update on Nick Diaz
--UFC signs a champion from Bellator and details behind it
--Update on MMA legalization in New York
--A look at the next Fuel live special
--Update on B.J. Penn
--In hindsight, what actually killed Strikeforce as an independent group
--Decorated wrestler who once beat Ben Askren signs with UFC
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Coverage of one of the biggest fights in Bellator history
--Fedor's next fight updated
--Gina Carano tag teams with The Rock
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.
Wednesday's News, Notes & Links
--TMZ reported that Buff Bagwell called his wife from his jeep shortly before his accident and told her that he was about to have a seizure.
--The Observer will be up later tonight or possibly early tomorrow. The sheer volume of news, combined with me being out of town three days this past week and teaching at Stanford yesterday really did a number on it.
--Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio covering the latest news. We'll also be taking e-mail questions that you can send to
(thanks to Tom Mehs, Andy Schnorr and many others)
--Cheick Kongo vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was announced for the UFC 149 show on 7/21 in Calgary in a heavyweight bout. This is Nogueira's first fight back since shoulder surgery from his December loss to Frank Mir.
--The next UFC on Fuel event will be on 7/11 as we first reported. We were told the 7/11 date, and then it was noted to us that Fuel president George Greenberg in a press conference said it would be 7/14. So evidently it was at first 7/14, but it's a live show on the Wednesday after the Sonnen-Silva show from Las Vegas. Mark Munoz vs. Chris Weidman will be one of the fights on that show.
--In the cable ratings for last week, USA was again in first place with a 2.1 prime time average with Disney in second place at 1.7. FX was No. 10 at 0.9, so Ultimate Fighter is just under the station average. Syfy is No. 12 at 0.9. Spike once again failed to make the top 25. Raw was No. 4 and No. 5 last week. It was No. 5 and No. 10 in 18-34 and No. 2 and No. 5 in 18-49.
--G.I Joe: Retaliation, featuring Dwayne Johnson, debuts in Australia on 8/2 (thanks to James Stanios)
--There was a very good story in today's Buffalo News on Dick Beyer at http://www.buffalonews.com/city/article826403.ece
Beyer is being honored tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. with the Japanese Counsul-General's Commendation at DiPaolo's restaurant in Blasdell, NY for his going to Sendai, Japan after the earthquake and tsunami.
--Shawn Michaels has signed a merchandising deal with Eyeblack, which will produce a Michaels product line with phrases like Showstopper, Mr. Hall of Fame, on camouflage in conjunction with Michaels' Outdoor Channel TV show "MacMillan River Adventures."
--Jay Glazer was a guest on Dan Patrick's radio show today. He never mentioned UFC by name, since Tuesday Patrick kind of ripped on UFC, but did say that Chuck Liddell was such a superstar in Las Vegas at one point that walking with him was like walking with Elvis. He said how Liddell always signed every autograph and would take an hour to walk 100 yards in Las Vegas talking to fans. He said that once he and Liddell were at a restaurant and Liddell went to the bathroom. Glazer picked up his cell phone and sent a text message to Randy Couture. In the message, he wrote, pretending to be Liddell, that before their second fight, he took a Viagra tablet and wanted to take their relationship to the next level. Then he erased the message from Liddell's phone. However, Liddell came back too quick and quickly noticed his phone was gone, and Couture wrote a nasty message back right away. (thanks to Charles Parker)
Do you believe Alistair Overeem's story?
What was the best of these matches?
Undertaker vs. Michaels 4-5-09 31.1%
Cena vs. Punk 7-17-11 13.9%
Misawa vs. Kobashi 3-1-03 11.5%
Kobashi vs. Samoa Joe 10-1-05 10.6%
Benoit & Angle vs. Edge & Mysterio 10-20-02 7.4%
Danielson vs. Morishima 8-25-07 6.4%
Undertaker vs. Michaels 3-28-10 5.9%
Muto vs. Tenryu 6-8-01 3.0%
Dragon Kid & Ryo Saito & Genki Horiguchi vs. Cima & Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino 3-3106 2.8%
Michaels vs. Jericho 10-5-08 2.7%
Atlantis vs. Villano III 3-17-00 2.6%
Kobashi vs. Akiyama 7-10-04 1.8%
Will Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena top 200,000 buys in North America?
How should Lesnar vs. Cena end?
Lesnar winning quickly 56.1%
Lesnar winning 15-20 minutes 36.0%
Lesnar winning a long match 3.4%
Cena wins 15-20 minutes 1.9%
Cena wins long match 1.5%
Cena wins quickly 1.2%
What should be the primary goal of Lesnar vs. Cena
Lesnar over strong, sacrifice Cena short-term, build long-term storyline of Cena coming back 83.8%
Should not have a clean finish, build for an immediate rematch 5.1%
Lesnar wins an even match, goal to have the most exciting match possible 4.8%
Cena wins a match Lesnar dominates until the finish 2.7%
Cena goes over strong, message that WWE guys are stronger than UFC guys 2.5%
Lesnar wins a match Cena gets most of the offense in 1.0%
Poll on Raw
14.8% of those responding didn't see the show
--Mick Foley's comedy show runs on 5/3 in Columbus, OH at the Wooland Tavern and 5/4 in Cleveland at Grog Shop with Rev. Bob Levy as a co-headliner.
--MMA Fight Corner is a new TV show that debuts this coming Friday night in the 6-7 p.m. time slot of Ch. 5 in Las Vegas. It already airs on Fox Sports radio in Las Vegas, hosted by Billy Mira, Phil Devine, Joey Varner and Heidi Fang.
--Masked Republic is looking for editors for their upcoming television show and other media projects. They are looking for people who have worked in editing with non-wrestling projects in particular. For more info you can e-mail
--HWA Heartland Cup night two on Saturday night in Hamilton, OH: Quarterfinals for Heartland Cup: Jake Crist b Remi Wilkins, B.J. Whitmer b Alex Colon, Gerome Phillips b Drake Younger, Steve Corino b D.J. Hyde, Dustin Rayz b Jesse Emerson, Four corners match with DNA, Trent Killers, Heavyweight Heroes and Gavin Thorson & Jonathan Crane was a no contest, B.J. Whitmer b Jake Crist in a semifinal, Gerome Phillips b Steve Corino in the other semifinal, Chad Collyer & Ron Mathis & Jeremy Madrox & Chrisjen Hayme & Reed Bentley b Dave Crist & Matthew Taylor & Dre Jacobs & American Wrestling Warriors, Germone Phillips b B.J. Whitmer to win Heartland Cup. D.J. Hyde then broke the trophy over Phillips head and announced CZW will be on 6/9 in Hamilton, OH at the Great Miami Event Center.
--Future Stars of Wrestling on Sunday in Las Vegas before 500 fans: Sikou & Jefe b Bryce Harrison & Jack Manely, Brandon Gatson b Willie Mack, Johnny the Bull b Shawn Daivari-COR, Jay Garland b Michael Modest in a strap match, Rush b Kid Vegas, Remy Marcel b Kenny King, Tyshaun Prince b Jayson Cash, Hater Nation b Von Dooms, Remy Marcel b Sergio Vega, Shaun Ricker b Roderick Strong, Alkatrazz NC Tyson Tyler.
--Randy Smith will be the opponent for Tim Sylvia when he debuts in his home state of Maine on 6/16 in Lewiston, ME at the Adroscoggin Bank Colisee for New England Fight Night III. They expect a big crowd for this show.
--Roger Deem is working on a book on the history of the Missouri State title and is looking for photos of the various champions, particularly Harley Race in his later reigns and Dory Funk Jr.. He can be reached at
--IWA East Cost on 5/4 in Clendenin, WV with Rhino vs. B.J. Whitmer plus Mad Man Pondo, Drake Younger and Chance Prophet.
--Steve Corino vs. D.J. Hyde headlines for CZW on Friday night as Glasgow High School in Newark, DE.
--Platinum Championship Wrestling on 5/5 in Porterdale, GA and they will run there the first and third Saturday of every month.
--ECWA on 5/5 in Newark, DE at the Greater Newark Boys and Girls Club with Papadon vs. Kekoa the Flyin Hawaiian.
--There is a bus trip with stops in Queens, NY (at the White Castle on Queens Blvd.), New York (Hammerstein Ballroom) and Rahway, NJ (at the Rec Center) for Saturday's Extreme Reunion show at the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory in Philadelphia. Trip is $133 which includes round trip, a GA ticket to the show, a Q&A session and photos with talent. You can send to
for more info.
--Hoosier Pro Wrestling on 5/5 at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Columbus IN with Rob Conway, Flash Flanagan and more.
--WSU all women's show on Saturday night in Deer Park, NY at the Sportatorium for a double DVD taping.
--Lucha Libre Rudos Promociones on 4/29 in Minneapolis at the Boys and Girls Club at 3 p.m.
--Wrestling for Charity from Saturday night in Sunnyvale, CA before 286 fans: Synn b Victor Sterling, Will Wood & Boyce LeGrande b Rik Luxury & Ryan Von Kool, Davina Rose b Brittany Wonder, Chupacabra over Mikey Jay, Aaron Solo, Sheik Kahn Abadi and Matt Carlos, Mr. Massacre & Joe Sloan b Chicano Flame & Marty Flamez, Miss Over the Top Toplif b Cousin AC, Kimo b Adam Thornstowe, Dave Dutra b Matt Cross, Vennis DeMarco b Rikishi-DQ (thanks to Robert Haugh)