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:
--How the unmasking of a wrestler in recent weeks became a giant local television event
--Notes on TripleMania
--The last AAA TV tapings
--Superstars from Mexico coming to Japan later this month
--Former TNA star getting high marks outside the U.S.
--Next major All Japan matches
--New Japan copies of former WWE concept
--Return to action of one of the greatest in-ring performers of modern times
--More notes on Chief Jay Strongbow including the story on his first Madison Square Garden main event
--More on Ricky Steamboat's story told at the Cauliflower Alley Club
--Update on the Vachon brothers
--Wrestler pleads guilty to a second round of charges of sexual assault
--Former WWF and NWA star who was murdered gets honored
--Former wrestling TV announcer gets honored
--Son of former WWF wrestler gets five ear probation on assault charge
--A look at a major arena indie show that got incredible media coverage
--Hulk Hogan claims two former WWE stars are calling up looking to come in
--More on Hogan's "game-changing" ideas
--TNA plans for big shows the rest of the year
--TNA's weekend house show notes
--The Urijah Faber vs. Dominick Cruz situation, where it goes from here, if they will meet again
--Looking at the top contenders for face Faber on 7/7
--What happened to UFC in New York
--Tons of new fights and upcoming UFC and Strikeforce shows
--Plans for major events in conjunction with what UFC expects to be a huge UFC 148 event
--Upcoming Ronda Rousey fight
--Dana White says if things fall into place about plans for doing a huge show soon
--More on company drug testing
--More areas regulating MMA
--A UFC major draw appearing on iPPV while competing in a different sport
--Thoughts on the UFC/Strikeforce/Showtime relationship and what needs to be changed
--Notes on the rest of the Ultimate Fighter season
--Bellator's last and next show
--MMA promotion and pro wrestling promotion planning on working together and jointly promoting each other
--Bobby Lashley's most recent fight
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.
Saturday's News Update
--William Balfour, the man accused of killing Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew, was convicted on three counts of first degree murder and four other counts regarding what happened at her mother's home in Chicago in 2008. Balfour was married to Hudson's sister. David Otunga has been off the road the past few weeks to be emotionally supportive of his fiance during this trial. He is expected to return to Raw on Monday.
--A Nevada judge will rule on Monday regarding Nick Diaz's attempt to get an injunction against the Nevada State Athletic Commission that would force his suspension to end and allow him to fight. Diaz's attorney, Ross Goodman, is arguing that since Diaz hasn't gotten a hearing in a timely fashion, that the case has to be thrown out and the suspension for testing positive for marijuana at his 2/4 fight with Carlos Condit be lifted. The commission has argued that Diaz's side said they would produce Diaz's California medical marijuana card which he claimed to have, and they are still waiting for him to produce it before scheduling a hearing.
--Diaz is scheduled tonight in Long Beach to face world BJJ champion Braulio Estima in a BJJ rules fight on iPPV. There were issues with the fight last night. The fight was scheduled to be at 180 pounds, but Estima sent word he would not be able to make weight and wanted it at 185 pounds.
--UFC 149 in Calgary did one of those one minute sellouts today. All but maybe 2,000 tickets or less held back tickets were already sold at the presale, so virtually nothing was available when it came time for the general public sale. Show is 7/21 at the Saddledome. It's the debut in the city. The main matches are Jose Aldo Jr. vs. Erik Koch for the featherweight title, Thiago Silva vs. Shogun Rua and Cheick Kongo vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
--Tickets went on sale today at Ticketmaster for a holiday super show on 7/1 in Hidalgo, TX headlined by C.M. Punk vs. Chris Jericho for the WWE title in a no holds barred match, John Cena & Randy Orton & Sheamus vs. Kane & Alberto Del Rio & Daniel Bryan plus a live appearance of John Laurinaitis. Hidalgo usually sells out for WWE house shows and a holiday weekend means it's likely to happen again.
--An interesting twitter exchange between "Front Row" Brian McMahon
and Josh Thompson when McMahon said Thomson suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament (knee) and his 5/19 Strikeforce fight with Gilbert Melendez was in jeopardy. Thomson then called McMahon an obscure twitter guy looking for follower and talked about "small obscure media" who "never no (sic) what the hell they're tlkin (sic) about."
McMahon then asked Thomson if he was hurt or not and Thomson just said "What fighter doesn't have some sort of injury going into a fight. I'm fighting so people's sources are jokes just like they're (sic) website."
--KSW 19 takes place today in Lodz, Poland, headlined by Poland's biggest drawing card, Marius Pudzianowski, the five-time world's strongest man winner, facing Bob Sapp. Poland's top fighter Mamed Khalidov faces former UFC fighter Rodney Wallace and former UFC fighter Jay Silva faces Michal Materia. Also fighting include Matt Horwich.
--Pro Wrestling Syndicate on 6/1 in Rahway, NJ for their fifth anniversary show at the Rec Center:
Sami Callihan & Antony Nese vs. Great Muta & Kai
Mil Mascaras vs. Samuray del Sol (this won't be pretty)
Vader vs. Too Cold Scorpio
AR Fox vs. Teddy Hart
Tommy Dreamer vs. Kevin Matthews
Lone Rangers vs. Nasty Boys vs. Warlord & Barbarian vs. Matix & Modest vs., Enhancement Talent
Dan Maff vs. Devon Moore street fight
Adam Cole & Davey Richards vs. Mark & Jay Briscoe
The show will be an iPPV except the ROH match will be a dark match. Slick and Koko B. Ware will also be there.
They also run 6/2 in the same building with a second iPPV:
Sami Callihan vs. Kevin Matthews for PWS title
Anthony Nese vs. Kai
Teddy Hart vs. Scott Steiner
Vader & Too Cold Scorpio vs. Warlord & Barbarian
AR Fox vs. Samuray del Sol vs. Taka Suzuki
Phantasio vs. Simon Dean
Tommy Dreamer vs. The Sheik
Mark & Jay Briscoe vs. Jay Lethal & Devon Moore
Again, the match with ROH wrestlers won't be on the iPPV.
If you have more interest in WWE now than at this time last year, why?
Return of stars like Rock and Brock Lesnar 67.7%
They have been producing better matches 14.3%
Stronger main events 10.3%
Better storylines 7.7%
If you have less interest in UFC now than at this time last year, why?
Too many shows to keep up with 49.2%
Loss of Brock Lesnar 15.6%
Less interesting stars overall 13.8%
Drug issues have burned me out on sport 9.6%
Too many injuries have cost fights I want to see 9.0%
Hype for big shows has gotten worse 2.7%
What did you think of the King Mo deal?
Can't believe so much was made over this 36.8%
Great cross-promotional idea, Mo can help both brands 22.8%
Bad deal for Mo, you can't do both at the same time 14.9%
Bad for TNA, too much hype for a guy with almost no training 7.3%
Mo isn't a superstar, everyone guessed wrong 7.1%
Good for Bellator, gets their biggest star in front of more eyeballs 5.9%
Bad for Bellator, Mo doing pro wrestling hurts credibility 5.2%
Poll on Impact on Thursday
64.0% of those responding didn't see the show. That's the highest percentage of people not watching TNA I can ever recall in a poll.
--A debut of the documentary "Fight Life" will be Thursday at 8 p.m. at Laemmle NoHo in North Hollywood, CA. Jake Shields will be at the premiere.
--Grapplers Quest on 5/19 in Columbus, OH at the Ultimate Sports Center has tournaments in submission wrestling, BJJ, judo and wrestling.
--NAAFS on 6/2 at the Plain Dealer Pavilion in Cleveland with former UFC and Bellator fighter Chris Lozano battling NAAFS welterweight champion Kyle Baker in a five-round title match as part of a 14-match show.
--Josh Reddick of the Oakland A's, a big WWE fan, now has fans in the right field bleachers who bring replica spinner belts and NWA world title belts and have had an "RWO" sign up at times. Reddick comes out to either HHH or The Rock's theme when he comes up to bat. (thanks to Tom Lupoff)
--3XW announced a 30 man Rumble on 5/25 in Des Moines at Baratta's at Forte Center.
--EWF on 6/16 in Converse, IN at Borderman Gym headlined by Kevin Nash vs. Mark Vandy.
--The New Era Wrestling show on 5/19 in Shelbyville, IN has been canceled. All tickets will be honored for a 6/16 date.
--USWO from last night in Nashville before 82 fans: Justin Grandberry b Cody Allen, Saint & Tim Renesto b Danny Copass & Mike Cobbs, Lightning Bolt Kid b Josh Crow, Shawn Hoodrich b Big Time Sexy, Hot Rod Biggs b Steven Green, Jeff Daniels b Mike Jablonski, Damien Payne b L.T. Falk (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
--Today's Redlands Daily Facts has a story on actor Sonny Valens
, who did independent wrestling in the area before going into acting.
--Legacy Fighting Championships from last night in Houston on HDNet:
- Ryan Benoit b Cody Williams via choke in 2:53 - No jokes allowed
- Nelson Salas b Angel Huerta via TKO from strikes 4:45
- William Bush NC Artemas Young. Young took a few punches to the back of the head and tried to take five minutes to recover, and was told he couldn't and the match was stopped
- Evan Cutts b Lee King via triangle 1:35 second round
- Gerald Harris b Mike Bronzoulis via split decision
- Chad Robichaux b Joseph Sandoval via choke :5
- Jorge Patino b Clay Henta via knockout 1:04 to become the LFC lightweight champion. Patino is an old school fighter.
--Future of Wrestling's Brawl at the Mall on 6/2 in Deerfield Beach, FL at the Deerfield Beach Sports Mall headlined by Jesse Neal vs. Johnny Vandal and Christina Von Eerie vs. Angel Rose.