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.
Sunday's News Update
--Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio, covering WWE Extreme Rules, WWE business and more. You can send in questions for tonight's show, but relate them tonight to WWE business, to
We'll do more general mailbag questions later in the week.
--Some updates from last night's Extreme Reunion show. Sabu checked out of the hospital today and told everyone he was fine. Justin Credible was sent home after he was found out on the floor, but he left the building and later returned and asked to be put back on the show. He wasn't. He did go into the crowd so people could see he was there.
--A taped iPPV of the Extreme Reunion show was scheduled for today but due to technical issues, it will be several days before it is put up. If you ordered the show and would like a refund you can get it at
--Dana White today on Twitter confirmed a Hector Lombard vs. Brian Stann fight, but didn't say when or where it would take place.
--The USA Weekend edition has a story by John Cena concerning Make-a-wish, in particular talking about how Make-a-wish got started.
--Scott Hall has been sued for defaulting on his mortgage to his home in Chuluota, FL. Hall borrowed $75,000 to buy the home in June, and has since defaulted on his loan. The lawsuit said he missed his balloon payment in December and has now refused to pay. Hall no longer lives in the home in question which has been left vacate. The lawsuit is attempting to foreclose on the home and then sell it, and asks for Hall to pay any difference in the cost of purchase and sale price.
--WWE has a far stronger advance for Toledo for the Smackdown tapings. If you remember, last year the non-camera side was only about two rows deep and they drew about 2,700 fans. This year, the lower bowl is completely sold and that's at $10 higher per ticket than last year (thanks to Dave Crumbley)
--Naomichi Marufuji & Mohammed Yone won the Global tag team tournament from pro wrestling NOAH beating Katsuhiko Nakajima & Takeshi Morishima (the jr. heavyweight and heavyweight champion tag team) in the finals earlier today at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
--WWE Vintage Collection was pre-empted today on Sky in the U.K. due to live sports. It's scheduled to air on Wednesday this week (thanks to Stephen Lyon)
What May show are you most looking forward to?
UFC 146 Dos Santos vs. Mir 28.8%
WWE Over the Limit 20.9%
ROH Border Wars 15.1%
Mayweather vs. Cotto 9.5%
UFC on FOX Miller vs. Nate Diaz 7.9%
New Japan Fukuoka PPV 7.4%
TNA Sacrifice 5.9%
Strikeforce Cormier vs. Barnett 4.5%
Poll on Ultimate Fighter on Friday
60.8% of those responding didn't see the show
Poll on Smackdown
26.7% of those responding didn't see the show
How many North American buys does Extreme Rules do tonight?
Under 100,000 6.2%
More than 301,000 8.1%
--On the Road Dogg's "Are You Serious" You tube show, the block WWF logo was blurred out. On old tapes they blur the scratch WWF logo, mute all references to WWF and blur any visual references to Superstars of Wrestling, as well as eliminate everything to do with Chris Benoit. (thanks to Ryan Schmauch)
--Paul Orndorff was on Inside the Ropes radio on Thursday night. He talked about the first WrestleMania saying the PPV was Ungodly (PPV barely existed, it was a closed circuit show), and said he made more money for that match than he made in a year before with the NWA. He said he wasn't crazy about working with Mr. T because he was protective of the business. On Vince pushing Warrior: "I thought it was the worst move they could've made. Vince did it on purpose. He did it so he could be the only one." He complained Warrior never paid his dues. Regarding Bret Hart and Randy Savage as WWF champions being a good move, he said, "No, absolutely not. It's like putting the belt on someone who wants to be a wrestler. It didn't work. It downgraded, made the belt worthless. When Terry Funk, Harley Race had world titles, it meant more." Regarding Hogan refusing to drop the title to Bret Hart: "I don't blame him. I wouldn't have either. Bret Hart was a nobody from Canada and Hulk Hogan was the greatest star in wrestling. I don't blame him. He did the right thing." He also said that Ric Flair was a joke.
--IPW: UK from last night in London, England before about 1,000 fans: Kris Travis over Martin Kirby, Matt Cross, Noam Dar, Lion Kid and Leon Britannico in a ladder match to earn a title shot, Mark Haskins b Joel Redman, Hannah & Holly Blossom b Shanna & Nikki Storm, Leroy Kincaide b Carlito, Chris Masters b Stixx, Dave Mastfiff & Terry Frazier & Martin Stone b Sha Samuels & T-Bone & Rockstar Spud in an elimination match, Marty Scurll b Sami Callihan to win the vacant British cruiserweight title (thanks to Martin Bentley)
--The Totally Rad TV show interviewed UFC's Amir Sadollah when he was in Los Angeles training for his 5/15 fight against Jorge Lopez. Co-host Alex Albrecht is a big UFC fan. Show is at http://revision3.com/trs/mma-training
(thanks to Greg Merreighn)
--Mark Ruffalo will be cast as David Schultz, the former Olympic gold medalist, in the movie "Foxcatcher." Steve Carell will star as John DuPont. The movie is about the famous murder case where DuPont, an eccentric DuPont fortune heir who was supporting the U.S. Olympic wrestlers in the 90s, was jealous because Schultz was so respected by all the wrestlers and gunned him down. Schultz was a mentor to Kurt Angle among others. Channing Tatum will play the role of Mark Schultz, Dave's younger brother, also an Olympic gold medalist in wrestling.
--Tuesday night in Guadalajara for CMLL: Exterminador b Virgo, Pegasso & Rey Cometa & Triton b Barbaro Cavernario & Infierno & Malefico, Demus 3:16 & Pierrothito b Astral & Ultimo Dragoncito, Sangre Azteca & Valiente b Namajague & Okumura, Atlantis & La Mascara & Maximo b Mr. Aguila & Mr. Niebla & Psicosis-DQ
--AAA from last night in Veracruz: Chessman b Vampiro, Dark Dragon & Nicho b Dark Cuervo & Dark Escoria & Fenix, Jack Evans & Gronda (the second one, not the original) & Dark Ozz b La Parka & Silver Kain & Ultimo Gladiador
--AAA is taping TV tomorrow night in Leon, with the top three matches being Juventud Guerrera & La Parka vs. Chessman & Jeff Jarrett, Dr Wagner Jr. & Silver Kain vs. El Texano Jr. & Mascara Ano 2000 Jr., and Daga & Jack Evans & Extreme Tiger vs. Dark Dragon & Decnis & Teddy Hart. (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--Pro Wrestling Xtreme anniversary show from last night in Orlando: Chasyn Rance b Tim Zbyszko (Larry's legit son), Lince Dorado over Mike Cruz and Rocky Santiago, Dead Presidents b Nuyoricanz, Shooter Storm b Jillian Hall, Chico Adams b Jayson Falcone & Luke Spencer Almighty "Sheik b Kory Chavis, Sam Shaw b Jesse Neal, Vordell Walker b Jon Davis, Circle of Disrespect b Axe & Smash of Demolition, Steve Corino b Tommy Rich. Next show is 7/28 at the Florida Armory. (thanks to Al Haft)
--WSU from last night in Deer Park, NY: J Cup tournament: Annie Social b Nikki Syx, Brittney Savage b Evavel Suena, Athena b Kimber Lee, Brittney Svage b Annie Social, Brittney Savage b Athena to win J Cup tournament, Sassy Stephanie & Allisyn Kay b Jana & Latasha to keep tag titles, Tina San Antonio b Marti Belle, Mercedes Martinez b Jessicka Havok to regain the WSU title, Jessicka Havoc b Marti Belle, Rick Cataldo & Ezave Suena b Annie Social & Kimber Lee, Jenny Rose b Nikki Syx, Lexus b Lathasha, Sassy Stephanie b Jessie Brooks, Alicia b Allisyn Kay, Rain b Athena, Jessicka Havoc b Mercedes Martinez to regain the title.