We look at TNA's improved product, is there evidence yet that it's a direction that will make a difference, business notes from Slammiversary, the good and bad of the show, who the real key people are in the survival of the company, what happened to Jerry Jarrett, who knew about Sting in the Hall of Fame, the background of Christian appearing on the show, and thoughts on Destination X.
We also have our match-by-match coverage with star ratings and poll results from the show.
We look in detail at all the various injuries in UFC, the motives for the changes, the message that Chael Sonnen sent to Michael Bisping and more.
We look at the turning point of Mid South Wrestling, the period when it was the most watched wrestling television show in the United States, why that period was brief, the 1985 deal that fell through that would have changed the history of wrestling, what killed the promotion, as well as what the WWE acquired in the tape collection, who were the featured stars, and a list of still existing wrestling tape collections not owned by WWE.
We also have an update on the TNA lawsuit against WWE, the move WWE made, what isn't going to happen any time soon because of it, and more on Ric Flair's contractual situation right now. We also look at how Linda McMahon has risen in the polls and why, and how close the Connecticut senate race looks to be. We look at who supports McMahon, who doesn't, and what role wrestling plays in it.
We also have an update on Shane McMahon, what he's doing in business right now, and how the company is doing.
We also look at how the talent relations department in WWE has changed, who is in, who is out, and what the mentality is regarding new talent. We look at how HHH has shaped the new department and changes that are expected to happen.
We've got an update on Brock Lesnar, UFC and WWE and the reality of Lesnar's potential future as a fighter. We also look at his schedule in WWE for this year and next.
We also look at the WWE house show business. We look at changes in who is going to be on what tour, who is going to be on television, why the changes are made, who is coming back, who isn't advertised as coming back and how the business is doing overall. This covers the biggest names right now in the company.
We've got more on Randy Orton, Chris Jericho's schedule, advanced orders for the video game, developmental plans, who they are looking at.
We also look at a WWE tryout and who the company is scouting, and the thought process of recruiting college sports stars vs. independent wrestlers and the positives and negatives of each.
We've also got updates on The Rock, Kelly Kelly, JBL's mountain climbing and Raw plans, Punk rips on an episode of Raw, Vader and more.
We also look at how major sports, TV and advertising executives right now perceive the value and interest in boxing, UFC and WWE now and as compared to five years ago. This is actually very important, because that perception drives so much of the key decision making.
We look at more WWE releases, a wrestler who quit, wrestlers who are doing enhancement work, the last FCW tapings, a member of a legendary wrestling family getting a tryout, Steve Austin's new TV show, the WWE tour of Spain and how business went, and notes on all the house shows from the past week.
We look at the final two days of the Best of the Super Junior tournament as well as New Japan's next PPV show. We also have a history of the championship matches in the tournament dating back to the first major New Japan junior tournament in 1984.
We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and complete details on the this week's Raw and the last two weeks of Impact. We look at the Vince effect on the ratings, what segments gained and lost viewers and where the growth was. We also look at how the time slot move and going live has affected TNA numbers.
We also have results from all the major arena events around the world over the past week, as well as reviews of all the major television shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--AAA teasing a Hall of Famer headed to this year's TripleMania
--One of the best wrestlers in the world announces his engagement to a TV star
--Update on a number of pro wrestling injuries
--Two Hall of Famers, an 80s legend vs. 90s legend, meet for the first time later this month
--Wrestler released from jail after arrest on drug charges
--Update on Sabu after his problems that kept him off the Extreme Reunion show
--Retired pro wrestler wins major TV reality show
--Pro wrestling legend honored in Canada
--The second annual wrestling Beat the Streets in Times Square
--Great Muta returns to U.S.
--Former NFL star vs. former WWE wrestler in MMA fight, what happened
--Boxer who fought the greatest heavyweights of his era does angle on indie show
--Newest member of one of the most famous wrestling families stars wrestling
--A book about the toughest wrestlers in history
--New all-women's iPPV promotion
--Coach talks about what Tough Enough winner she was against winning
--Former WWF announcer gets job as news anchor
--One of pro wrestling's best performers says he will retire next year
--Notes on the next ROH iPPV show
--Morale notes at TNA and why
--Notes on the A.J. Styles/Dixie Carter angle
--Notes on wrestlers who received TNA tryouts
--New TNA TV deal
--More on the background of TNA Gut Check
--Raw vs. Impact vs. Smackdown viewership in the U.K.
--More on the UFC video game license change and THQ says why it gave the license up
--A look at how the WWE & UFC games have been doing the last few years
--Official numbers for UFC 146
--Updates on UFC big show ticket sales
--The current UFC all-time record gate in the U.S. and can UFC 148 break that record
--More on the Nick Ring situation in Calgary and Ring's thoughts on the muggers he helped catch
--UFC star doing Dancing with the Stars
--How other sports are doing on Saturday nights right now
--More on the making of Rory MacDonald vs. B.J. Penn
--Problems with training partners being stars in the same weight class
--What New Yorkers feel about the MMA ban, latest poll numbers, and a breakdown by age and demos
--UFC star talks once again about doing pro wrestling
--Brock Lesnar as a UFC Hall of Famer
--New matches announced
--A look at Bellator's summer schedule
--One of the most recruited wrestlers in history by colleges is now about to start an MMA career
--More on the Pacquiao-Bradley decision
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.