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:
--All Japan world tag team title change
--Promotion working with two others to build two major shows in the next two months
--Update on Chyna after a weekend which saw her pass out three times in public
--Member of famous wrestling family arrested after fighting with his brother and police finding drugs on them
--Update on the Extreme Reunion promotion
--A look at the next several weeks of ROH television and the top matches for the next iPPV show
--Update on the Ric Flair situation and his future
--What the plans were for Flair
--More on the Flair going to WWE Hall of Fame
--Brooke Hogan coming to TNA and what that's all about
--TNA Sacrifice early PPV estimates
--Dixie Carter defends usage of Hulk Hogan
--More on Bobby Roode's record setting title reign, or what it?
--Update on Ring Ka King and the show that's now in the same time slot
--Details on new TNA contract signings
--New TNA idea on how to maximize buys of well received shows
--TNA star moving into acting
--Update on King Mo in TNA and The Four Horsemen
--Notes on the recent TNA house shows
--More on the arrest of Jon Jones and what that means as well as details of another incident
--Will this hurt Jones' drawing power?
--What will that do for his public image?
--How UFC on FOX did compared with baseball in the same time slot
--Dana White talks UFC ramping up drug testing
--Urijah Faber talks about his reaction to finding out Renan Barao was his opponent
--A look at who Renan Barao is and how his style matches up with Faber
--The story behind how Barao got the title shot
--Update on Michael McDonald
--Update on the health of Dana White after his suffering from Meniere's Disease
--Why Strikeforce's stars are not going to be in UFC and how long will this remain
--WWE and UFC may be losing one of their major sponsors if a bill being proposed goes through Congress
--Notes on UFC lobbying efforts in Congress
--Las Vegas police called due to threats left on Dana White's answering machine
--Former Ultimate Fighter announces retirement
--Lots more on the ratings of the last UFC show on Fuel, including some amazing stats
--Payoffs for the UFC on Fuel show
--A major role Gina Carano is up for
--Notes on the next UFC show on Fuel
--A look at a new MMA reality show that was just picked up and when it starts
--A look at lots of new UFC fights
--Fedor Emelianenko talks retirement
--Bellator fighter coming back from a long coma after being stabbed in a bar 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.
Wednesday's News Update
--Bryan and I will be back tonight covering all the latest news, as well as taking your questions that can be sent to
--This is an update on Alex Shelley. While he has gotten phone calls from WWE, he has not agreed to a deal there. Shelley in leaving was looking at working in Japan and maybe for Dragon Gate USA until he got a phone call from WWE.
--Today is the 13th anniversary of the death of one of the worst moments in the history of the business, the death of Owen Hart in Kansas City. Bret Hart wrote, "A most solemn day. It's so hard not to feel the blood thicken in my heart at the memory of Owen's passing today. I miss you every day, brother."
--The latest in why Jon Jones needs a handler is a statement of Facebook where he apologized to his close supporters and then talked about how sickened he was by all the people who are trying to kick him when he was down. He did admit that he screwed up big time. But the statement got so much heat that Jones took it down. He said he was glad he hadn't added anyone new to his Facebook page in three years, and did note that he, by his actions, did give people the leeway to kick him while he was down. He said he was sorry to anyone who he has embarrassed or anyone with kids who looked up to him.
--Paramount announced today it was moving the big G.I. Joe movie that Dwayne Johnson stars in from this summer to a March 29, 2013 opening. The reason given publicly was they needed time to convert the movie into 3-D.
--The movie "Hijacked" starring Randy Couture and Domenic Purcell will be released on DVD on 7/31 by Anchor Bay Films. Couture plays a special agent trying to get back with his ex-girlfriend, but she boards a plane targeted by hijackers working for a crime lord he's chasing. So he sneaks onto the plane to try and save everyone.
--TNA finished first last week in the prime time cable ratings with a 3.2 average to 2.5 for USA and 2.0 for Disney. Syfy was No. 10 at 1.2. FX was No. 13 at 1.0. Spike was No. 23 at 0.8. The two hours of Raw last week were No. 11 and No. 13. But the only thing that beat Raw were NBA playoff games
--Nalty Junior, who worked at the World Jiu Jitsu Expo in Long Beach, did an interview on Monday with Ariel Helwani where he said about Nick Diaz, "In my opinion, he chose not to take the challenge wasn't going to be an easy fight for him, and he just go scared. He knew, `I'm gong to get choked, I will tap.'" He also said how Cesar Gracie's job is to try to clean up the mess Nick leaves behind.
--UFC announced its 9/7 show on FX will be from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, the former Conseco Fieldhouse.
--On Twitter, when Randy Orton was asked about punting Chris Jericho, he said that move has been banned due to concussion awareness.
--WWE is aggressively going after media criticism in Connecticut. When Joshua Fisher last week wrote a negative column on Linda McMahon and in support of her opponent, Christopher Shays, he wrote that McMahon's history of creating jobs was "by peddling a product that is barely above pornography." WWE wrote a letter to him back that they are PG-13 and that pornography wouldn't be allowed on basic cable and how he insulted all the parents who bring their children to live events.
--These fights are on the 6/1 UFC show from Las Vegas on FX involving guys already eliminated in the Ultimate Fighter tournament. They are basically battles to stay in UFC in at least some cases, with John Cofer vs. Justin Lawrence, Cristiano Marcello vs. Sam Sicilia, Chris Saunders vs. Myles Jury and Darion Cruikshank vs. Chris Tickle. Also on that show will be the finals of Ultimate Fighter, plus Jake Ellenberger vs. Martin Kampmann, and Jonathan Brookins vs. Charles Oliveira, Max Holloway vs. Pat Schilling and Byron Bloodworth vs. John Albert.
--The Extreme Reunion promotion is changing its name to Extreme Rising for shows on 6/29 in Corona, Queens, New York at the Elmcor Youth & Adult Activities Center and 6/30 in Philadelphia at the National Guard Armory. 6/29 has Jerry Lynn vs. Matt Hardy, Homicide vs. Devon Storm, Stevie Richards vs. Luke Hawx and Bestia 666 vs. Pesadilla. Philadelphia has Lynn vs. Homicide and The Gangstas vs. BLK OUT.
--Dave Brown, the former Memphis wrestling announcer who has been the most popular news personality in the market for decades, celebrates his 50th year in broadcasting (dating back to his sophomore year in high school) this year. WMC-TV, where Brown has done the weather since 1977 (Brown ended up on WMC-TV as part of a deal where the station got Brown and gave Jerry Jarrett a Saturday morning wrestling show), had billed last night's broadcast to feature Brown's big announcement. Rumors swirled that Brown would be announcing his retirement, but instead, his announcement was that he has no plans at all of retiring.
--Bobby Roode and Jeremy Borash are in Europe the next few days promoting TNA's January tour. Roode is currently in Poland.
--Rob Van Dam and formerly known as John Morrison are doing stand-up comedy on 5/30 at 8:30 p.m. at the Jon Lovitz Club in Los Angeles.
What are your thoughts on the Big Show angle?
Show turning was fine, but not the way he did it 41.8%
The entire angle was fine, Cena needed a new opponent 33.0%
He should have stayed face 25.2%
What show do you have the most interest in?
UFC 146 54.2%
ROH on 6/24 with Richards vs. Steen 17.3%
WWE No Way Out 10.6%
New Japan 6/16 PPV 9.8%
TNA Slammiversary 8.0%
What promotion do you think is improving the most?
Poll on Raw
17.9% of those responding didn't see the show
What upcoming match are you most looking forward to?
Silva vs. Sonnen 40.6%
Lesnar vs. HHH 24.3%
Rousey vs. Kaufman 12.0%
Roode vs. Storm 6.7%
Tanahashi vs. Okada 5.7%
Dos Santos vs. Mir 5.1%
Jones vs. Henderson 4.4%
Cena vs. Show 1.3%
--Besides doing tonight's house show, Mick Foley is working the Smackdown tour of Mexico this week as a referee.
--A wrestle off three-way tournament with Shawn Bunch, Reece Humphrey and Coleman Scott to find out who will represent the U.S. in the 2012 Olympics in freestyle wrestling in the 132 pound weight class has been added to the 6/7 outdoor event in New York at Times Square. The theme of the event is U.S. vs. Russia. Humphrey and Scott will wrestle at 1 p.m. Bunch will then have a two out of three match series against the winner at 6 p.m. Bunch placed third in a tournament on 4/27 in China which qualified the U.S. in the weight class, so he gets the first round bye, even though Humphrey is ranked first in the U.S. and placed 9th in the 2011 world championships in Turkey. Scott was a 2008 NCAA champion and 2012 World Cup champion. All members of the U.S. Olympic team in freestyle wrestling will face members of the Russian team. In addition, Kyle Dake of Cornell, who has won NCAA titles the last three years in three different weight classes, moves to 163 pounds to face Matt Gentry of Canada. There will also be a women's match with Helen Maroulis vs. Ashley Hudson.
--B.J. Penn will be a guest on MMA Uncensored tomorrow night after Impact on Spike.
--Bruiser Wrestling on 7/14 at Harry's Hideaway in Lima, OH, which will be a TV taping for their ABC-LIMA show that airs on Saturday nights' at 11:30 p.m.
--CZW is running a cancer benefit show on 6/1 in Philadelphia at the Vogt Recreation Center. They suggest a $10 donation for admission that will benefit the Fox Chase Center.
--Val Venis will be a guest instructor on5/31 at the CZW Wrestling Academy at 2 Ritner St., in Philadelphia. For more info you can contact
--River City Wrestling on 6/2 in San Antonio at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. They also have announced a return of LAX, with Hernandez & Homicide, facing 90s stars from Japan, The Head Hunters in a fans bring the weapons match on 7/7.
--Former UFC fighter John Salter faces Reggie Pena in the main event at the XFC show on 6/22 in Nashville at the Municipal Auditorium that will air live on HDNet.
--Jeff Hardy will appear tonight at 7 p.m. on Shane Helms Highway2Helms radio show at www.geekweek.com/live
--Tickets for UFC 147, on 6/23 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil featuring Wanderlei Silva vs. Vitor Belfort, go on sale to the public tomorrow at www.ticketsforfun.com.br
The show will air on PPV in North America.
--Traditional Championship Wrestling is looking for salespeople and live event promoters around the U.S. that have experience with wrestling at
--FMLL on Sunday in New York before 400 fans: Lou Nova b Chico, Bronco b Maso (Bronco wasn't the WWC wrestler) in a bad match, Commando Jr. & Buffalo Azteca b Mascara de Angel & Aguila, Octagoncito b Piratita Morgan, El Hijo del Santo & Sin Limite NC Blue Demon Jr & Imagen Nocturna, El Hijo del Santo b Imagen Nocturna.
--26 episodes of the CMLL Minis TV show has been sold to "Gong," a French television channel. The show debuts on 5/28 and will air Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. Ceilan Varini and Greg Deas will be doing the French language commentary.\
--CMLL on Monday night in Puebla before 4,500 fans: Tigre Rojo & Tigre Rojo Jr. b Sauron & King Jaguar, Tiffany & Amapola & Princesa Sugei b Marcela & Lady Apache & Estrellita, Super Comando & Pegasso Extrema & Puma King & Dragon Lee & Escandalo & Hombre Bala Jr b Stigma & Espiritu Maligno & Asturiano & Karissma & Lestat in a CMLL vs. Team Puebla match to set up next week's cage of death match, Olimpico & Psicosis (not the former WWE wrestler) & Mr. Aguila b La Sombra & Delta & Guerrero Maya Jr., Atlantis b Volador Jr.-DQ
--Crossfire Entertainment announced an 8/4 show in Nashville with an appearance by Bret Hart, plus Shane Douglas, Scott Steiner, Jerry Lynn, Kid Kash, Brian Christopher, Harry Smith, Jillian Hall and more.
--Courtney Marshall at
is looking for 1984 footage of the Championship Wrestling from Georgia promotion that was on TBS.
--Steeltown Pro Wrestling on 5/25 in Winnipeg at Rookies Sports Bar and 5/26 in Morden, Manitoba at the Access Events Center.