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.
Monday's News Update
--Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio covering Raw, more on Bruno Sammartino, the probable UFC suspension, New Japan's next big show plus you can send questions to
--We have a breaking news update on the site regarding the Sammartino deal and are expected to do a radio show with him later this week. Sammartino will be doing a couple of TV interviews on the news in Pittsburgh tonight. As we've talked about for the last few months that this has been in play, Paul Levesque (HHH) was the guy behind the deal and worked hard to make it happen. The deal was officially signed on Friday and it is for more than just the Hall of Fame. Sammartino will be featured in history pieces, do commentary for DVDs, be interviewed for historical DVDs and do some television in some form as well.
--NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) has signed a multi-year deal with the Las Vegas-based World Series of Fighting promotion. It's a three-year deal for six shows per year, starting with a 3/23 show in Atlantic City at the Revel Resorts & Casino. The shows will air on Saturday night's at 10 p.m.. Andrei Arlovski vs. Anthony Rumble Johnson (yes, Johnson is now a heavyweight, which means he's not missing weight) will be the main event of the next show. Marloes Moraes vs. Tyson Nam is also on the show.
--Vince McMahon is backstage at Raw on crutches. He had legit hip surgery on Friday. It had nothing to do with the angle or landing wrong, as the date had been scheduled for some time. Actually the scheduling of the angle had everything to do with his planned surgery date.
--On the metered markets, the Super Bowl did a 48.2 rating. Now, to get at this rating, they didn't include the power outage period. The show did a 59.6 rating in Baltimore, a 57.1 in New Orleans, a 56.9 in Washington, DC and a 55.8 in Norfolk among others. Total viewership of 108.4 million was behind the last two years but still the third most-watched TV show in U.S. television history.
--It was a good day for Dwayne Johnson at the Super Bowl. Zimmerman Advertising surveyed people before and after the game about what they were going to buy based on the ads. Lone Ranger, the movie that Johnson isn't in, was No. 1. Fast and Furious 6, which Johnson and Gina Carano are in, was No. 2. No. 5 most effective commercial was the milk commercial Johnson starred in.
--Larry Goodman on the financial mess that is Crossfire Wrestling at http://www.gwhnews.com/2013/02/in-crossfire.html
Short version is the promoter borrowed a lot of money to finance the shows, and hasn't paid it back and one of the lenders is taking legal action.
--The ECW documentary that has been in the works for about a decade, put together by John Philipavage and Kevin Kiernan (I was interviewed for the project last year for this) that was finished due to backers on kickstarter.com will premiere on 4/20. The location for the premiere will be in Philadelphia but the venue is not yet announced. The documentary will be called "Barbed Wire City," and features tons of interviews with people formerly with the promotion. For more information you can go to the web site www.Barbedwirecity.com
--There was a strong tease that the old ECW Arena will be back open for wrestling later this year. At the Pro Wrestling Day events in Philadelphia, Roger Artigiani, who managed the Arena, talked about how a banner for 2 Cold Scorpio would be put up in the arena as part of the Hardcore Hall of Fame when the Bingo Hall reopens. There are still a number of steps that have to happen, most notably removing the current lease holder and fixing up the building, but it is expected those steps will be taken place.
--Eric Young was shown on the Puppy Bowl yesterday with a crazy beard. That's from his exposure on Animal Planet. Not the beard, but getting the appearances throughout the show (thanks to Cyrus Yamat and Mike Lano)
--All 16 wrestlers in the wXw 16 Carat Gold tournament, which takes place on 3/1 to 3/3 in Oberhausen, Germany were announced as Masada (CZW), Jonathan Gresham (CZW, CHIKARA, wXw), Robert Dreissker (wXw), Bad Bones (wXw), Karsten Beck (wXw), Super Crazy (Pro Wrestling NOAH), Tommy End (wXw), Yuji Okabayashi (Big Japan), Zack Sabre Jr. (wXw), Chuck Taylor (Dragon Gate USA), Shinobu (Big Japan), Ricky Marvin (Pro Wrestling NOAH), Johnny Moss (wXw), Eddie Kingston (CHIKARA Pro), Paul Tracey (wXw) and Ricochet (Dragon Gate USA). First round matches on 3/1 are Crazy vs. Masada, Tracey vs. Beck, Bad Bones vs. Shinobu and end vs. Ricochet. There will also be a Wrestlers vs. Fans soccer game and a Q&A session with the wrestlers that weekend. (thanks to Patrick Gronemann)
THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops)
52 years ago: Dr. X (Big Bill Miller) beat Don Leo Jonathan to win the world title based in Omaha. Dr. X was a huge draw as a masked world champion during that run.
48 years ago: Dr. Bill Miller & brother Dan Miller beat Gorilla Monsoon & Cowboy Bill Watts in Washington, DC to win the WWWF U.S. tag team titles
44 years ago: Giant Baba & Antonio Inoki beat Wilbur Snyder & Danny Hodge in Sapporo to win the International tag team titles
44 years ago: Hans Mortier beat The Gladiator (Ricky Hunter) to win the Florida title in Tampa
43 years ago: Ripper Collins beat The Missing Link (Pampero Firpo) to win the Hawaiian title in Honolulu
38 years ago: Ron Garvin & Roger Kirby beat Robert Fuller & Jimmy Golden to win the Macon tag team titles in Macon
37 years ago: Thunderbolt Patterson beat Frank "The Hammer" Goodish to win the Florida title in Miami. This was the last territory Frank Goodish worked before going to WWWF as Bruiser Frank Brody.
36 years ago: Chavo Guerrero beat Dory Funk Jr. at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles to win the Americas title
36 years ago: Ted Oates beat Big Bob Slaughter (Sgt. Slaughter) to win the Central States title in St. Joseph, MO
34 years ago: Bob Armstrong & Ken Lucas beat Crusher Jerry Blackwell & The Invader (Bob Orton Jr.) to win the Southeastern tag titles in Knoxville
28 years ago: Rip Oliver beat Buck Zumhofe in Fort Worth to win the Texas TV title
22 years ago: Jeff Jarrett & Jerry Lawler beat The Fabulous Ones in Memphis to win the USWA tag titles
18 years ago: Sabu & Taz beat Public Enemy in a double tables match to win the ECW tag team titles in Philadelphia
--Terry Funk pulled out of the Pro Wrestling Syndicate iPPV show over WrestleMania week. He will be working that weekend for WWE.
POLL ON THE ROH TV SHOW ON SATURDAY
59.3% of those responding didn't see the show
BEST TV SHOW OF THE PAST WEEK
UFC prelims on FX 17.1%
Saturday Morning Slam 4.3%
Inside MMA 1.2%
Main Event 0.6%
--Zack Ryder and other WWE guys on twitter are pushing Ryder's song "Hoeski" to try and have it break into the top 100 downloaded songs on iTunes.
--Good news and bad news. UFC was discussed for about 20 minutes today on Calgary's leading sports station. The bad news is half the segment was spent burying the UFC and Dana White, claiming they were swindlers and thieves regarding UFC 149. When it was brought up that White had talked about possibly putting an Anderson Silva fight in Calgary because he owes the market because of the bad show, one of the guys ripping UFC had no idea who Anderson Silva was and later admitted knowing nothing about MMA at all. (thanks to Ryan Pike)
--We'll have more, but there is a front page story in today's Wall Street Journal about Roller Derby in Madrid, Spain and how popular it has become worldwide. Yes, there is a team called the Murcia City Bombers. The story said there are now 1,250 leagues including in places like Belem, Brazil and there is a Japanese team called the Yokosuka Sushi Rollers and the Cairo Rollers in Egypt.
--ROH announced a 4/27 show in Richmond, VA at the Greater Richmond Convention Center and 5/11 outside Pittsburgh at the Rostraver Ice Garden. Tickets go on sale to Ringside members on Wednesday at 10 a.m. and to the public on Friday at 10 a.m.
--R-Truth is headed to Qatar for a promotional tour. He's still out of action after a gash on his leg from the TLC PPV show.
--HBO has started to promote the Ronda Rousey Real Sports segment for 2/19. More at http://youtu.be/kF6BBct2ODQ
(thanks to Jason Milloff)
--TNA tickets for the 3/14 TV taping in Hoffman Estates, IL at the Sears Center go on sale at Ticketmaster on Friday.
--New Era Wrestling on 2/16 in Shelbyville, IN at the Boys & Girls Club
--New England Championship Wrestling from Friday night in Randolph, MA: They announced Da House Party had given up their tag titles since they are on an extended tour with Zero-One in Japan. Elia Markropolous (who did TNA Gut Check) b Jason Rumble, Alexxis Neveah b Nikki Valentine, Slyck Wagner Brown d Jeremy Prophet 15:00, Scotty Slade & Mark Shurman b Mike Webb & Nick Farenheight to win the vacant tag titles, Antonio Thomas b Johnny Thunder to keep the NECW title.
--Platinum Championship Wrestling from Saturday night in Porterdale, GA: Fred Yehi b Corey Hollis, Jagged Edge b Mat Von Reaper, Fred Avery b Kody Jack, Supernatural & Johnny Danger & De La Vega NC Marko Polo & Matt Sells & Steve Goins, Jon & Trey Williams b Geter & Brian Blaze and Chip Day & Sylar Cross and Najasism & Eric Walker, Steve Lawler & Terry Lawler b Ethan Cage & Eli Evans, Mason & Stephen Platinum b Shane Marx & Miss Rachel. (thanks to Larry Goodman)
--Extreme Rising has these shows over WrestleMania weekend. 4/4 in Philadelphia (Super Crazy & Pesadilla vs. Damien 666 & Bestia 666) plus Stevie Richards, Sabu, Matt Hardy, Reby Sky, Rhino, Devon Storm, Luke Hawx, Homicide, Balls Mahoney, Papadon, Facade and Matt Tremont); They also have shows on 4/5 and 4/6 at Warriors of Wrestling in Staten Island, with the same crew (minus Matt Hardy). They teased the idea of Bestia 666 defending his WWO championship against El Hijo de Rey Misterio over the weekend.
--Cung Le will be doing a seminar and autograph signing at Butch Hiles BJJ in West Virginia on 2/23. Cost if $65 in advance or $75 at the door. Autographs and photos are only available to those who attend the seminar.
--Sean Waltman will headline a 2/9 show in Keyport, NJ at the St. Joseph's Church Gym for the FWF. Balls Mahoney will also be on the show.
--A TV oldies channel had an episode of Burke's Law where Don Rickles appeared as a pro wresting trainer. He was yelling at a wrestler doing a Native American gimmick and another one. Gene LeBell and The Great John L were the wrestlers, so it was likely from the early 60s.
--FWE is doing an iPPV on 2/16 in Brooklyn at St. Patrick's Gym with Carlito vs. Matt Hardy vs. Tommy Dreamer plus Maria Kanellis vs. Angel Williams (formerly Angelina Love) plus Ivelisse Velez, Matt Taven, Chris Mordetzky (Chris Masters), Mike Bennett, James Yun (formerly Jimmy Yang) vs. Sonjay Dutt, Petey Williiams, Jigsaw, Tony Nese and more. This is the group that Michael Schiavello does the announcing for.