Also in this week's issue:
--Latest from Arena Mexico
--First AAA major show of the year
--Notes on Dragon Gate USA's next U.S. shows and former WWE stars involved
--Upcoming Dragon Gate major matches in Japan
--Update on All Japan's first big show of the year featuring Ric Flair and the major league pro wrestling debut of Reid Flair
--Some newcomers to NOAH
--Grandsons of one of pro wrestling's biggest stars get first big win in Japan
--Major contract signing by New Japan
--Notes on the New Japan PPV schedule for this coming year
--Changes in Fantasticmania shows with CMLL and New Japan combined
--A legends show sells out Tokyo with an 80s vs. 90s theme
--An actual challenge a year ahead for the Tokyo Dome
--Two rivals from 30 years ago form tag team
--Sabu returns to Japan
--The end of a major era in pro wrestling with a 45 year institution of the business taking another step down
--Promotion which talked big plans seemingly in financial trouble with bouncing checks
--El Generico's farewell to Pro Wrestling Guerrilla at the DDT4 tag team tournament
--Return of the OMEGA promotion
--Unique lineups for WrestleMania week indie events
--What wrestlers had, as voted by Observer readers, the most consistent great matches of the last four-and-a-half year and who was No. 1
--What tag team is now changing their gimmick to pattern themselves after a fighter who had super heat
--Upcoming ROH shows
--More on the latest Hulk Hogan lawsuits
--Looking into Hogan's claim of losing $50 million
--Future of Hogan wrestling
--Dixie Carter's cryptic comments about more changes coming this year
--Looking at the big picture of where TNA fits in for Spike TV and why it's safe
--Another TNA wrestler let go
--Noes on British Boot Camp
--Background of Zema Ion and a funny college story
--Two UFC fighters fail steroid tests and are suspended
--Business notes from UFC 155
--Details of Dana White's surgery
--A look at upcoming UFC cards
--Longtime UFC headliner says he's leaving no matter what after his next fight and where he's going
--Chael Sonnen news
--A UFC hotbed market essentially passes a law that will keep UFC from debuting
--New UFC fights announced
--Bellator's debut looked at
--MMA TV show quietly disappeared
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 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
--Bryan and I will be back tonight covering tonight's UFC, as well as talk Thursday night's Impact & Bellator combo and the latest news on Wrestling Observer radio. You can send questions into the show to
--The FOX Network today as the preview show for this coming Saturday's live show from Chicago. Check your local listings. It's on at different times in different markets. Most markets are 5 p.m. but here in San Francisco it's airing at 2 p.m.
--Sting will be replacing Jeff Hardy in all cities on the TNA U.K./European tour which begins on Monday. TNA is claiming it is due to Hardy being injured by Aces and 8s. In actuality Hardy can't come to the U.K. and they had to be aware of it because I was aware of it some time back. It's one thing to shoot an angle to explain him not being there to television fans, it's something very different to advertise him as the top star for people to buy tickets when you know he isn't going to be there. Sting's tour of the U.K. last year was billed as Sting's final tour of the U.K., but that's pro wrestling. Hulk Hogan and Brooke Hogan will be appearing at both television tapings in Manchester and London, but not at the other shows.
--Michael Bisping, in trying to get under the skin of Vitor Belfort, whispered to him that "There is no Jesus."
--In last night's report from Los Angeles, the wrestler listed just as being from NXT, who faced Damien Sandow in a singles which turned into Rey & ? vs. Sandow & Rhodes, was Bo Dallas, or Taylor Rotunda. He's on the Raw tour this weekend. Originally Sin Cara was booked in that spot.
--Jacob Noe, who beat Seth Petruzelli in the first round of the Bellator light heavyweight tournament on Thursday, may have fractured his orbital bone. If that's the case, he'd almost surely be knocked out of the tournament. No official announcement has been made. Michael Chandler also has a possible fractured right foot and Renato Sobral has a possible fractured right knee. Pat Curran ha a possible fractured right hand.
--As far as the stories about how only kids watch pro wrestling perpetrated by insecure MMA fans, in directly comparing the final quarter of Impact (the wedding itself) to the first quarter of Bellator (the beginning of the Curran vs. Pitbull fight), these were the numbers
--Fans are invited to the UFC press conference on Wednesday at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Scheduled to appear are GSP and Nick Diaz. Don't laugh.
--A note on the ROH shows over WrestleMania weekend. The Friday night show will be at the Hammerstein Ballroom. The Saturday afternoon TV tapings will be at the Grand Ballroom, which used to be the Manhattan Center. They are a few floors apart in the same building.
--Dear God is this embarrassing. The Daily Bulletin in Ontario, CA today had a story about Antonio Cesaro promoting tonight's show. They claimed Cesaro before coming to the WWE was a ruby star who was banned from the league due to excessive aggressiveness.
--And Perez Hilton was critical of Bully Ray, without knowing his name, with photos of him with his face in a woman's large breasts the night before his wedding. Yes, Perez thought it was a real wedding until someone alerted it to him that Brooke's Facebook page lists her as single. So, not only did he use her Facebook page, but didn't realize the wedding was fake, nor that the fake wedding didn't happen anyway.
--Tindale Publishing has moved the release date of the Lex Luger autobiography to 8/13. It was originally scheduled for an April release. Luger and ghost writer John Hollis are scheduled to be in Los Angeles for SummerSlam to do signings.
PREDICT THE BELLATOR RATING
Under 0.3 24.1%
1.4 or more 4.6%
Correct answer ended up being 0.7.
ARE YOU MORE LIKELY TO BUY TNA PPV SHOWS EVERY THREE MONTHS AS OPPOSED TO MONTHLY
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF WEDNESDAY'S MAIN EVENT SHOW?
50.5% of those responding didn't see the show
POLL ON BELLATOR'S FIRST SHOW ON SPIKE
43.8% of those responding didn't see the show
POLL ON IMPACT
22.9% of those responding didn't see the show
WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON THURSDAY?
38% of the TNA viewers watched Bellator. 67% of the Bellator viewers watched TNA
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE KING MO SPECIAL
67.3% of those responding didn't see the show
WHO DO YOU THINK WON THE FIGHT?
Pat Curran 80.2%
Patricio Pitbull 7.4%
A draw 12.4%
--The Lucha Va Voom promotion ran a show as part of Big Day Out 2013 in Sydney, Australia.(thanks to Greg Tingle)
--Wild Bill's Fight Night takes place at 8:30 p.m. at Wild Bill's in Duluth, GA. Tickets start at $25. It's a combination of both MMA and boxing matches, which is only the third time they've had both on the same show.
--Police in Huntsville, AL are going to be serving a warrant on former WCW star Bobby Eaton, 54, from a 2002 Failure to Appear on a drunk driving arrest.
--Linda Bollea was officially charged with a DUI stemming from an October arrest that got some publicity. Bollea was pulled over and arrested on a suspicion of being drunk behind the wheel and driving with a suspended license. Her reps claimed she drank one glass of champagne but the effects were exacerbated by antibiotics she was taking for an E.coli infection. She was charged with misdemeanor counts of a DUI and driving with a suspended license.
--The Evening Times at http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk
has a story about Magnus, talking about his parents view on him getting into wrestling, going to Japan and advice from Kevin Nash.
--USA Championship Wrestling has A Tribute Fit for a King, an appearance by Jerry Lawler on 3/9 in Covington, TN at the Crestview Middle School