Also in this week's issue:
--Coverage of Pro Wrestling NOAH's first big show of the year with KENTA vs. Takeshi Morishima
--What major star looks like they are starting with NOAH
--The return of the famous Von Erich iron claw to Japan
--Update on the entire Tammy Sytch situation
--ROH vs. New Japan match
--Kurt Angle talks the future of his career
--Angle talks about whether you can do pro wrestling and MMA at the same time
--Update on Hulk Hogan's health and legal battles
--The Brooke Hogan/Bully Ray storyline
--Why Taz was put in the position he's in
--Update on TNA's Lockdown show
--Full coverage of TNA's European tour
--Details of TNA television between now and the end of February as far as matches, directions and angles
--Details on Quinton Jackson, money, future, how much he earned, how much he was earning for PPV shows and more
--Details on all the new matches made this past week in UFC
--A look at this week's UFC show
--What in MMA is about to get really nasty
--Dana White talks about the proposed Fedor vs. Lesnar fight that fell through
--What nobody is talking about regarding those negotiations
--Notes on UFC fighters who have been released of late
--Jon Jones talks moving to heavyweight
--What pressure hit UFC just before the FOX show last week
--Nick Diaz change of face
--A look at UFC's FOX ratings as compared to other major sports events of 2012
--A look at what advertisers have paid to sponsor UFC events
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.
Wednesday's News Update
--Dixie Carter will be making a major announcement on Impact tomorrow night. The announcement is expected to be plans to do more television taping on the road. I don't know if they're giving up the Impact Zone completely or just cutting way back, but the idea is to do something along the lines of how Raw was done before it went weekly: tape every two weeks where the first show airs live and the next week is taped.
--Last night's Ultimate Fighter show did 1.27 million viewers. Its main sports competition -- college basketball on ESPN -- did 1.71 million.
--USA Network won the cable TV prime time ratings race this past week, averaging 2.87 million viewers to 2.44 million for Disney and 2.17 million for TBS. FX was No. 67 at 1.65 million. Last week's three hours of Raw were No. 4, No. 5 and No. 9 for the week. In the 18-49 demo, one of the hours was No. 9.
--The Intercontinental Cup tournament idea, which was supposed to start last night at the NXT taping, is another of those 'plans change in WWE' deals.
--The locally advertised main event for Monday in Atlanta is John Cena & Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler & C.M. Punk. Likely the dark match.
--The Rock has cut localized promos for a lot of the markets where he'll be appearing going forward.
--Tom Dempsey, who still co-holds the NFL record for the longest field goal, was in a New York Times story on Monday
and mentioned as someone who was a pro wrestler in the past. Nobody has given us any information in the past two days that would verify it. He said he wrestled as a good guy in Southern California and several Southern California historians say there is no record of this. I would have thought it would be difficult to believe someone with his name identity would have been a pro wrestler without anyone knowing about it.
--Henry Cejudo, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist in wrestling at 121 pounds, is entering MMA. Apparently his debut fight will be 3/2, not sure who against or what organization. Cejudo was discussed for Kid Yamamoto at the New Year's Eve show but it fell through because Yamamoto had knee surgery and hadn't recovered well enough to fight.
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW?
Paul Heyman 59.8%
C.M. Punk 21.7%
The Rock 8.3%
Chris Jericho 4.2%
Vince McMahon 3.0%
John Cena 1.3%
Ricardo Rodriguez 1.3%
Big Show 0.4%
WHAT FEBRUARY SHOW WILL DO THE BEST NUMBERS?
Elimination Chamber 38.8%
Rousey vs. Carmouche 31.6%
Aldo vs. Edgar 29.7%
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF RAW?
8.1% of those responding didn't see the show
--Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment announced the launch of "The Hoff," a series of games featuring David Hasselhoff to be released on 2/14 in the U.K. It's aimed at the online casino market in Europe.
--In Sydney, Australia, today, Kimbo Slice went to 7-0 as a boxer against handpicked opponents when he got a second round knockout over Shane Tilyard, who came into the fight with a 6-6 record.
--A match I was told is spectacular from All Japan a few weeks ago with Koji Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka defending the All-Asia tag titles against Shuji Kondo & Kaz Hayashi is up on YouTube
--For those going to Las Vegas, Scott Stern of The Las Vegas Fight Shop (702-366-0502) has these autograph sessions lined up
- 1/31 6-8 p.m. Daniel Cormier - free meet and greet
- 2/1 Noon-2 p.m. Dan Hardy - free meet and greet
- 2/1 1-3 p.m. Randy Couture for the launch of his new fragrance Xtreme Couture. If you purchase the fragrance, you can meet Couture
- 2/1 6-8 p.m. Arianny Celeste - If you purchase a poster, you can get in the VIP line
- 2/2 Noon-2 p.m. Cain Velasquez - free meet and greet
- 2/2 2-4 p.m. - Urijah Faber - If you purchase a Torque brand item, you can get in the VIP line
- 2/3 Noon-2 p.m. - Frankie Edgar - free meet and greet
- 2/3 1-3 p.m. - Rashad Evans and Alistair Overeem
--Ric Flair and Mike Tyson are also in town signing autographs at the Tristar Sports Memorabilia shop at the Miracle mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. Flair will be doing sessions tomorrow at 1 p.m., Friday at 1 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. Tyson will be on Friday at 3 pm. and Saturday at 4 p.m.
--Alex Marvez noted to us at the Super Bowl (you know, that thing going on this Sunday), Univision has a masked reporter wearing a Lucha Libre mask at the festivities and there is a reporter dressed as Hulk Hogan. Boy, that's one way to earn respect in the news business.
--The future of The Score Fighting Championships is in limbo. A release from the promotion stated that personnel changes have bee made and "The Score will continue to assess the future of the SFS on an ongoing basis."
--There is an NXT taping tomorrow night in Winter Park, FL. Alberto Del Rio will be the special guest.
--WWE has filed a lawsuit against Solar Entertainment Group in the Philippines for money owed both in TV rights fees as well as their percentage of PPV revenues.
--Kotetsu Boka defends his ONE FC lightweight title against Shinya Aoki in the main event of the One FC show on 4/5 in Kallang, Singapore at Singapore Indoor Stadium -- the same building where Ric Flair and Harley Race did a world title change that was supposed to be kept secret outside of the market.
--It was 27 years ago today when Gino Hernandez died of a cocaine overdose at the age of 29.
--Brian Hoops with This Day in Wrestling History
- 109 years ago today - George Hackenschmidt beat Ahmed Madrali in London to become recognized as world heavyweight champion. This is the title he brought to the U.S. and lost to Frank Gotch, who became a U.S. sports hero as an American world champion
- 65 years ago - Yukon Eric beat Sonny Myers to win the Texas title
- 62 years ago: Ben & Mike Sharpe beat Sandor Szabo & Primo Carnera to win the world tag team titles
- 54 years ago: Maurice & Paul Vachon beat George & Sandy Scott to win the International tag team titles in Calgary
- 50 years ago: Edouard Carpentier beat Killer Kowalski in Montreal to win their version of the world title
- 49 years ago: Fred Blassie defeated Edouard Carpentier in Los Angeles to win the WWA world title
- 48 years ago: Harley Race & Larry Hennig beat Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher to win the AWA world tag team titles in Minneapolis
- 45 years ago: Fritz Von Erich & Billy Red Lyons beat The Spoiler (Don Jardine) & Gary Hart to win the American tag team titles in Dallas
- 43 years ago: Abdullah the Butcher beat Dave Ruhl in Calgary to win the Canadian heavyweight title; Nick Bockwinkel beat Joe Scarpa (Chief Jay Strongbow) in Atlanta to win the Georgia TV title; Danny Hodge regained the NWA world jr. heavyweight title beating Umanosuke Ueda
- 37 years ago: Dusty Rhodes beat The Spoiler in Atlanta to win the Georgia heavyweight title
- 30 years ago: Jacques Rougeau Jr. beat Terry Taylor in Memphis to win the Southern title
- 29 years ago: The Super Destroyers (Bill & Scott Irwin) beat Brian Adias & King Parsons to win the American tag team titles and Chris Adams beat Jimmy Garvin to win the American title in Fort Worth
- 20 years ago: Steve Williams & Terry Gordy beat Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada in Chiba to win the All Japan world tag team titles
--Lou Thesz has an older sister who still lives in St. Louis that was born in 1913 and Larry Matysik reports she still spry and very alert at 99.
--River City Wrestling on Saturday night at the Aztec Indoor Soccer Arena is headlined by Shelly Martinez vs. Trina Michaels.
--EWF from Saturday night in San Bernardino, CA: Taraso b Valiant, Eddie Matson b Patient Zero, Mikey O'Shea b Killa Gorilla, Sugar Sweet b Andy Brown, Sgt. Sanders & Andrew Hellman & Mike Maze b Triangle of Terror-DQ, Brandon Gatson b Extreme Loco (thanks to Frank Mott)
--Wrestling is Respect from Sunday in Boonton, NJ: Mike Quackenbush b Green Ant, Drew Gulak b Leech Landa, Angel Orsini b Kimber Lee, Gran Akuma b Ophidian, Frank O'Rourke b Thunder Frog, Veda Scott b Saturyne, Oleg the Usurper b Soldier Ant, Delirious b The Shard. Next show is 3/24 in Boonton, NJ at the Elks Lodge.
--IPW from Saturday night in Auckland, New Zealand: Alfred Valentine b Pat Schisk, Space Mountain b Liger & Jason Moore, Aaron Henry b Joel Clementson, Dave O'Connor & Megan-Kate b Liam Fury & Evie, Britenay b Olivia Shaw, Antonio b James Shaw, TNT b Pirate Burns & Link Van Haggard, Kingi b Dal Knox
--KPW on Saturday night in Tauranga, New Zealand: Shane Carver b Purple Haze, T-Rex b Mark Freemantle, Kade Morgan (nephew of Rip Morgan) b Bull Addamz, Suzi Q b Scarlett, Graham Hughes b Inferno, Charlie Roberts & Steve Jordan b Lazarus Volt & H-Falme, Marcus Kool b Shane Sinclair (thanks to Steve Ogilvie)
--Traditional Championship Wrestling in 2/9 in Jonesboro, AR features Hurricane Helms and an appearance of Jake Roberts.
--Pro Wrestling Battle Arts on 2/22 in Oshawa, ONT with Michael Elgin vs. Christopher Bishop vs. Josh Alexander vs. Ethan Page.
--Here's a clip of the TV show "Borealis"
where Paul Lazenby did the booking of the fight scenes (at 1:16 and 1:22:40).
--The Great Canadian Wrestling show planned for Saturday in Oshawa, ONT has been canceled.
--Baja Stars promotion on Friday night in Tijuana: Silencio Negro b Black Zaygon, Dementor & Pitbull b Eternus & Tapatio Jr., Angel Garces & Star Boy & Ursus b Angel Negro & King Azteca & Profeta, Arandu DCOR Mortiz, El Hijo del Santo & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. b Cien Caras Jr. & Dr. Wagner Jr.
--Carlito & Shawn Daivari will headline a show on Saturday night at Arena Lopez Mateos in Tlalnepantla, Mexico against Angel Blanco Jr. & El Hijo del Solitario.
--CMLL on Monday night in Puebla: Black Tiger & Stigma b Akron & Sauron, Bobby Zavala & Disturbio & Siki Osama Jr. b Camaleon & Leono & Tigre Rojo Jr., Rey Cometa & Stuka Jr. & Triton b Namajague & Okumura & Virus-DQ, Estrellita b Princesa Sugei to retain the Mexican national women's title, Titan & Blue Panther & Valiente b Mr. Niebla & Negro Casas & Felino (Valiente pinned Casas to get a shot at the NWA world middleweight title this coming Monday), Rush & La Mascara & Thunder b Averno & Mephisto & El Terrible
--CMLL from last night in Guadalajara: Metatron & Leo b Rafaga & Espectrum, Nosferatu & El Hijo del Signo & Hooligan b Molotov & Metalico & Horuz, Psicosis & Morphosis & Kraneo b Shocker & La Mascara & Brazo de Plata, Titan b Dragon Rojo Jr in a non-title match to set up Dragon Rojo Jr. defending his CMLL middleweight title against Titan this coming Tuesday), Ultimo Guerrero & Euforia & Niebla Roja b Rush & Maximo & Mascara Dorada (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner)