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.
Thursday's News Update
--As noted yesterday, TNA will be announcing that they will be doing more tapings on the road. We're not sure if it'll be every taping going forward and a complete move out of the Impact Zone, but if it's not, the Impact Zone is going to be used only infrequently. The idea is taping every other week on Thursdays, with the first show live and the next week taped. The first such taping will be 3/14 in Hoffman Estates, IL (Chicago area) at the Sears Center. If there are other dates, they'll likely be announced tonight. The Sears Center is a 10,000 seat arena which they'll probably cut back to hold 5,000 for the taping and my guess is they'll run set-ups for 3,000 to 5,000, which is big enough to make them look more major league.
--Bret Hart goes against the political grain, says HHH is very good, not great, overrated and he wasn't that impressed with his match with Undertaker at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xSNJX1aBDSw
Hart put over Rey Mysterio and C.M. Punk as being innovative, said HHH has a good look, called him a good wrestler who is talented, but not great.
--Ric Flair, who is in Las Vegas doing autograph siginings the next few days at Planet Hollywood, is expected to be attending the UFC show on Saturday.
--C.M. Punk was also in Las Vegas yesterday with Lita.
--Cyndi Lauper's return to WWE in June was filmed to be part of her reality show "Still So Unusual" and the episode with it airs Saturday at 9 p.m. on WE TV. The story pushes the episode as Lauper reuniting with both Wendi Richter and Roddy Piper. (thanks to Ken Raftery)
--WWE has put out a notice looking for a full-time Photo Editor to join their print and digital staff, to work for the magazines as well as items created for tablets. They want a B.A. degree of work equivalent, four years of professional experience in a photo department, knowledge of retouching and color correction, effective writing and verbal skills, familiarity with WWE, retouching skills, digital photography and knowledge of Cumulus.
--Chris Jericho will be hosting the Revolver Magazine Golden God Awards show on 5/2 at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. Metallica is headlining the show.
--John Cena and Daniel Bryan are booked for the Wizard World Philadelphia Comic con on 5/30 and 6/1 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
--It was 14 years ago today when Shohei "Giant" Baba, one of the biggest pro wrestling stars of all-time, passed away from cancer at the age of 61. To show how big of a sports star Baba was, a few years ago there was a Japanese poll of the biggest sports star of the previous 75 years and I believe he was in the top seven. Baba was a baseball player who made the Japanese major leagues for a cup of coffee, and his fame as the tallest man up to that point to play major league baseball in Japan led Rikidozan recruiting him for pro wrestling. He was also the biggest star, and this includes the Great Muta, of any legitimate Japanese wrestler in the U.S. when he worked in North America during the early 60s, as in the same month I believe he had matches for all three major world titles, facing Bruno Sammartino, Lou Thesz and The Destroyer.
--Tito Montez, one of the biggest stars in Arizona wrestling during the 50s, 60s and 70s, passed away yesterday at the age of 78 from complications's of Alzheimer's.
--Saturday's National Pro Wrestling Day in Philadelphia was moved to the larger Pennsylvania National Guard Armory to fit more people in. There are both afternoon and evening shows at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. featuring top stars from tons of different independent promotions from around the U.S. and admission is free. Both shows will air in iPPV live at www.SMVOD
at $9.99 per show or $14.99 for both shows.
WHO DO YOU PREDICT WINS THIS FIGHT?
Nate Diaz 74.0%
Josh Thomson 26.0%
WHO DO YOU PREDICT TO WIN THIS FIGHT?
Michael Bisping 72.8%
Alan Belcher 27.2%
WHO SHOULD FACE ANDERSON SILVA NEXT?
Chris Weidman 44.6%
Cung Le 20.4%
Luke Rockhold 14.6%
Vitor Belfort 9.3%
Hector Lombard 6.8%
Costa Philippou 2.5%
Yushin Okami 1.8%
ARE YOU MORE LIKELY TO BUY TNA LOCKDOWN BECAUSE THERE IS NO SHOW IN FEBRUARY?
THIS DAY IN WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops)
58 years ago - Bob Geigel & Boris Kalmikoff beat Jesse & Johnny James in a tournament final to become the Southwest tag team champions in Abilene, TX
56 years ago: Dory Funk Sr. beat Dizzy Davis to win the North American title in Amarillo
49 years ago: Rocky Hamilton (Missouri Mauler) beat The Stomper (Archie Gouldie) to win the U.S. title in St. Joseph, MO
47 years ago: The Black Terror (Bobby Hercules Graham) & John Tolos beat Pat Barrett & Tim Geohagen to win the Canadian Open tag team titles in Vancouver
47 years ago: Tony Borne & Alaskan Jay York beat Shag Thomas & Bearcat Wright to win the Northwest tag tam title
32 years ago: The Fabulous Freebirds, Terry Gordy & Buddy Roberts & Michael Hayes won the National tag team tiles beating Ted DiBiase & Stan Frazier in Atlanta
32 years ago: Les Thornton regained the NWA jr. heavyweight title from Jerry Stubbs in Dothan, AL
32 years ago: The Grappler, the inspiration for much of Chael Sonnen's interviews, beat Killer Karl Kox to win the Mississippi State title in Greenwood, MS
26 years ago: Badnews Allen beat Kevin Sullivan to win the Southern title in Fort Lauderdale
23 year ago: Jushin Liger beat Naoki Sano in Osaka to win the IWGP jr. heavyweight title
19 years ago: The Moondogs beat The Rock & Roll Express to win the USWA tag titles and Eddie Gilbert beat Jerry Lawler to win the USWA title in Memphis
--Crowbar Publishing will be doing a book called The Strap: A Complete History of Sam Muchnick's Missouri State championship written by Roger Deem. Larry Matysik wrote the foreword. The book is available at http://www.crowbarpress.com/cbp-books/16-rd.html
--Just a bit of advice for judges who are getting criticized. Stay away from doing interviews. It never does you any good and the commissions you work for hate it.
--This stems from judge Gabriel Sabaitis trying to defend his 30-27 score for Clay Guida in the fight with Hatsu Hioki. It was three close rounds, all three counts could be reasonably judged either way, and if people don't get that, that's their issue. Interestingly, Hioki did an interview and said he lost the fight, didn't think it was controversial, and that he needs better takedown defense.
--Full Impact Pro tomorrow night at the Orpheum in Ybor, City, FL features Jon Davis vs. AR Fox for the FIP title, Caleb Konley & Scott Reed vs. Los Ben Dejos for the tag titles, Uhaa Nation vs. Chasyn Rance and more as a live iPPV at www.WWNLive.com
--MPW on 2/2 in Simi Valley, CA at the Boys & Girls Club features Brutus Beefcake.
--The University of MMA has set four dates for Club Nokia at LA Live in Los Angeles for shows, with the first being 3/3, followed by shows in May, August and December. They are using local fighters and trying to build them, with the finals four-man tournaments with Alexander Arsian vs. Renardo Palmer for the heavyweight title and Jens Grau vs. Joshua Neal for the light heavyweight title.
--Definitive Wrestling International on 2/10 in Riverview, FL at the Flea Market at 7415 Highway 301 South.
--Dreamwave Wrestling in Illinois on Saturday night has Jim Duggan and Lince Dorado appearing.
--Jake Roberts was interviewed today on CFMI radio in Vancouver talking about how DDP has turned his life around. He said he wanted to commit suicide but could never do it because of the effect it would have on his family. He talked about just spending a week with his daughter and his grand kids. He said's he's now dropped 65 pounds and his having shoulder surgery in ten days and thanked everyone who contributed to his surgery fund. The host brought up Jake stiffing him on an interview when he worked in Halifax and Roberts claimed at the time that his snake got loose and cut itself. (thanks to Roy Kendal)
--FWF on 2/9 in Keyport, NJ at the St. Joseph Church Gym with Balls Mahoney and Sean Waltman.
--TNA has added new house show dates on 3/15 in Corbin, KY and 3/16 in Pikeville, KY.
--Heroes and Legends autograph show on 3/23 in Fort Wayne, IN at the Lutheran Sports Center has Jim Duggan Tatanka, Ted DiBiase, Jimmy Snuka, Bret Hart, Demolition Ax & Smash and Jake Roberts.