On Fuel tonight, UFC Tonight airs at 7 p.m., UFC Inside at 7:30 p.m. and UFC 79 will air at 8 p.m. In addition, the prelims from this past Saturday's show air tonight at midnight.
Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio. We'll be talking the current news, previewing the weekend and answering e-mail questions at
A full report on the WrestleMania and Extreme Rules PPV numbers, what they mean, and comparisons to other shows is among the lead stories in this week's jam-packed issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Besides looking at what The Rock and Brock Lesnar brought to the gate, we also have an in-depth look at the lawsuit TNA filed against WWE, WWE's reaction, the situation involving Ric Flair and other TNA talent that may or may not have been contacted by WWE.
We also look at one of the top heels of the early television era, Hans Schmidt, a major box office attraction when wrestling was on in prime time on network television and a look at his gimmick, his career, and life after wrestling. We have stories from wrestlers and his career highlights. We also have full coverage of UFC 146, including where Brock Lesnar fit into the show, what happened after the show, and reaction to the show.
We also have a look at what happened with Chris Jericho in Brazil and TNA going live all summer on Thursday nights.
The issue will be up on the site today if you are a web site member. We also have a new back issue on the site right now.
The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
The Observer is now in its 29th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world. The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling and MMA industry, from bookers to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest names on camera and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries subscribe. Many have subscribed for 20 years or longer consecutively. They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world. Everywhere from Wall Street to the major offices to television networks in the U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business.
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--Big hair vs. hair match at Arena Mexico
--Unique cage of death match ending with a local vet being unmasked
--The last AAA TV taping
--Young wrestler with a lot of potential announces retirement due to injuries
--All Japan's big show of the week
--More news on the combined All Japan and New Japan joint show on 7/1
--Masakatsu Funaki set to return
--UWFI nostalgia on Takayama 20th anniversary show
--Notes from the All Japan/New Japan combined press conference
--Lots of New Japan business notes
--Two wrestlers arrested on how one affects the current Junior heavyweight tournament
--Updates notes the first days of the Best of the Super Junior tournament
--Tajiri starts new promotion
--A look at the wrestling and broadcasting career of Dave Brown on his 50th anniversary of being in the media
--Notes on the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame induction ceremony
--Notes on the Extreme Reunion second set of shows
--80s promoter coming back to do a reality show based on an old wrestling promotion
--Former WWE diva arrested
--Notes from the last weekend of ROH shows and notes on the next iPPV
--Why Don West left TNA
--Dixie Carter talks Kurt Angle's Olympic dream
--Updated business notes on the last Strikeforce show
--Full details of the Jon Jones accident as well as his court plea and what he's facing
--This week's UFC lineup
--Final episode of Ultimate Fighter this season talked about
--Next Strikeforce lineup
--How baseball is doing on Saturday night on FOX in the UFC time slot
--Daniel Cormier in UFC an a move to 205 and if it's possible
--A look at the future of Josh Barnett
--A look at the details of the arrets of Arianny Celeste
--More on how Renan Barao got a title shot
--Next UFC programming on FOX
--Fighter in great fight a few weeks ago came in with serious injury
--B.J. Penn talks his future
--Notes on the next season of Ultimate Fighter that starts being filmed in June.
--Lots of new UFC fights
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 NEWS, UPDATES AND LINKS
--Davey Richards in an interview with Inside Wrestling magazine said he was going to retire in 2013. He said something would have to go drastically wrong in his life for him to be wrestling in 2014. The interview talked about his final show, responding to criticisms of himself and ROH and more.
--Alex Shelley has been officially removed from the TNA web site roster page. His contract has expired and it was his choice not to sign a new deal. (thanks to Jay Spencer)
--Dustin Jensen, 26, passed away on 5/24, six days after competing at RingWars, an MMA event in Rapid City, SD. Jensen lost a fight via submission that was not described as violent, watched two more fights and then suffered a seizure. He was rushed to Rapid City Regional Hospital where they noted pressure on his brain and put him in a medically induced coma and performed emergency surgery. He never recovered from the surgery and passed away. Doctors who watched the tape couldn't find a blow that caused the problem, but that somehow, the fight triggered an aneurysm.
--Dixie Carter had a press conference today promoting tomorrow's live TNA debut. She said there are currently plans for live shows for the next 12 weeks. She expects more reality based on the shows going forward. She said she's trying to negotiate down to doing 6-8 PPV shows per year instead of 12, touring Australia and running more often in the U.K.
In a press release on the show, she claimed they would be doing more unscripted backstage segments and air production meetings, hear producers evaluate talent and post-match critiques of talent and focus on more long-term storylines. The company saw the response to the A.J. Styles/Christopher Daniels/Kazarian storyline and now that's the type of thing they are looking to do. There will also be a lot of decision making given to the fans.
--WWE announced a house show on 8/12 in Taipei, Taiwan at Linco Stadium which is the same tour that will also run in Tokyo and Shanghai.
--In last week's cable ratings, TNT was again No. 1 due to the NBA with a 3.3 prime time average. USA was second with a 2.4 and ESPN was at 2.1 FX was No. 10 at 1.2, Syfy was No. 15 at 1.1 and Spike was No. 18 at 0.9. The two hours of Raw last week were No. 10 and No. 11. Of the nine shows ahead of Raw, three were basketball coverage.
--Roderick Strong vs. Jay Lethal vs. Tomasso Ciampa, Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly in a hybrid rules match and Homicide vs. Eddie Edwards have been added to the 6/24 ROH iPPV show from New York City Cole vs. O'Reilly has no pins and it can only end via knockout, ref stoppage, submission, draw or the 15:00 time limit.
--On the 6/22 UFC show in Atlantic City, Brock Jardine (9-1) debuts with the group against Rick Story. Jardine is a replacement for the injured Papi Abedi. Matt Brown will replace the injured Matt Riddle and face Luis Ramos.
What was the best of these shows?
UFC 146 47.2%
WWE Over the Limit 17.5%
ROH Border Wars 13.3%
TNA Sacrifice 11.4%
UFC on FOX 3.5%
Greatest post-War German wrestler?
Baron Von Raschke 45.7%
Fritz Von Erich 29.3%
Hans Schmidt 10.0%
Waldo Von Erich 5.2%
Killer Karl Krupp 3.5%
Kurt & Karl Von Brauner 1.7%
Karl Von Hess 1.7%
Hans Mortier 1.7%
The Von Stroheims 0.7%
The Von Steigers 0.4%
Poll on Raw
*18.7% of those responding didn't see the show
--In Monday's update about the list of 100 greatest movies and those containing wrestlers, there were at least three missing. No. 19 On the Waterfront featured Tiger Joe Marsh and Tony Galento, No. 18 Spartacus had Woody Strode and No. 100 Ben-Hur had Lord Athol Layton. (thanks to Crimson Mask)
--Dan Severn once again repeated his challenges to Mark Coleman, Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock for matches before he retires at the end of this year.
--Raw on 7/30 in Cincinnati has announced John Cena vs. Big Show & John Laurinaitis in a handicap match as one main event, along with C.M. Punk vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE title. (thanks to Brian Henke)
--During last night's pre-game show for the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs game, Charles Barkley was criticizing today's players sense of fashion. Barkley talked about how no man should wear red pants. Later in the show, they found a photo of Barkley wearing, you guessed it, red Zubaz pants. Everyone made fun of him but he said he was given the pants by the Road Warriors (who were part owner of Zubaz in those days). Barkley yelled at Shaquille O'Neal saying that he doesn't even know what he's talking about when it came to the Road Warriors, and that it's wrestling and he should know. (thanks to Anthony Ardolino)
--Matt Hardy worked for the PRWA in Puerto Rico on 5/26 in a four-way match for the PRWA title. Hardy lost to Superstar Ash (the winner), Escobar (former WWE wrestler) and Black Pain (also a former WWE developmental wrestler).
--BANG on 6/2 in Ocala, FL at the BANG Sound Stage has Dory Funk Jr. & Johnny Magnum & Cory Weston vs. Wes Brisco & Shane Chung & Lorenzo Goode.
--Tickets for the 7/14 Strikeforce show in Portland went on sale at 10 a.m. today for Fight Club members. The password pre sale starts tomorrow at 10 a.m. Pacific time with the code word OREGON.
--Fight Now TV will be airing a show on Saturday night from Broomfield, CO for the Ring of Fire promotion headlined by Phil Baroni vs. Chris Holland, as well as former WWE wrestler Chad Wicks (Chad Dick) vs. Demetri Veal, a former member of the Denver Broncos. The show will also air on Ustream
for $7.95. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. Eastern time.
--Steve Corino will be doing a seminar on 6/2 in Providence, RI, at the Davey Lopes Recreation Center on 227 Dudley St. The seminar is open only to trained wrestlers and the cost is only $20. Corino will talk about psychology, performance and promos. For more info, email
. Corino will also headline a house show in that building against Ryan Bisbal in the main event. The show also includes Mike Bennett and Brutal Bob from ROH.
--EWF on 6/1 in Covina, CA at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Joey Ryan will appear on the show.
--Matt Hardy headlines for NWS on 6/1 in Stirling, NJ at the Long Hill Township Community Center. Hardy and Leilani Kai headlined on 6/2 in Barnegat, NJ at the High School gym.
--CMLL on Sunday in Guadalajara before 1,000 fans: Brillante Jr. & Indio b Spark & Azteca de Oro, Sky Kid & Black Metal b In Memoriam & Demonio Maya, Ebola & Sadico & Barbaro Cavernario b Xavier Cruz Sr. & Xavier Cruz Jr. & Leo, Valiente & Leon Blanco b Malefico & Exterminador, Mr Niebla b Rush-DQ
--CWE on 6/1 in Winnipeg at the Polish Fraternal Hall.
--NWA Chattanooga on Friday night in Soddy Daisy, TN: Chip Day & Corey Hollis b Jason Hampton & Jason Collins, Tank b Bobby Moore, Ace Rockwell & Logan Avery b Gil Quest & C.B. Gibson, Kyle Matthews b Chrisjen Hayme, Patrick Bantley b Bryan Casanova in a pose down, Seven b Drew Haskins to become Southern champion, Jassco Blue b Shaun Tempers-DQ. Nxt show will be 6/22 in Sale Creek, TN at the Middle/High school.
--Empire Wrestling on Friday night at 8 p.m. at the Academy Theater in Avondale Estates, GA.
--The 14th annual Clash at the Cove at Coveleski Stadium in South Bend, IN takes place on 7/28 with Jim Duggan vs. Brian Costello, Greg Valentine vs. Jay Peterson and Brutus Beefcake vs. Andy Chene.
--Florida Underground Wrestling on Saturday night in New Port Richey, FL at the All Sports Arena with Wes Brisco, Fidel Sierra, Bruce Santee and Michael Tarver appearing. They also run 6/7 in Sebring, FL at Mixx Nightclub with Wes Brisco vs. Fidel Sierra, plus Michael Tarver.
--Future Stars of Wrestling Collision Course on 6/2 at 8 p.m. Eastern is a $7.99 iPPV with Roderick Strong, Johnny Stamboli, Kenny King, Michael Modest and others.
--Evolve announced shows on 6/28 in Ybor City, FL, 6/29 in St. Petersburg at the Wildwood Rec Center and 6/30 in Jacksonville at Potter's House Gym. Appearing are Johnny Gargano, Chuck Taylor, El Generico, AR Fox, Samuray del Sol, Tony Nese and others.
--Emerson Witner look at two of the earliest TNA PPVs here