Also in this week's issue:
--The King of the Air tournament in Mexico update
--Notes from the major Arena Mexico show of the week
--Big matches that are being built up
--Next AAA TV taping
--Notes on Dragon Gate USA's WrestleMania week shows and who is coming from Japan
--Who is the major name returning after two years
--Notes on Dragon Gate's big show of the week and its latest top angle and title matches
--Notes on All Japan's big show of the week and new work rate belts
--How Reid Flair is doing in Japan
--Pro Wrestling NOAH's big show of the week and angles being shot
--Champions from NOAH capture a second championship
--Thoughts on Masato Tanaka vs. Tomohiro Ishii and if it's a match of the year candidate
--Jushin Liger coming to the U.K.
--Notes on the return of Kensuke Sasaki
--Hall of Famer getting surgery on both knees to keep from a possible life in a wheelchair
--Return of a wrestler after two years in exile
--Onita vs. Akebono in an explosive barbed wire match
--Notes on an FMW nostalgia show
--More on the Hart Family Legacy promotion in Calgary and attempts to start AAA Canada
--Names scheduled for the first show
--Thoughts on the death of Jim Jeffers of the Mod Squad tag team
--Jerry Lynn's final Northeast match against Lance Storm
--Notes on Pro Wrestling Syndicate
--One of the most famous local wrestling stars returns at the age of 66 for a major angle
--Former WWE stars involved in an independent feature
--Notes on Sinclair Broadcasting's financials
--Notes on Jeff Hardy's new contract
--Dixie Carter's announcements at the Bellator show
--A.J. Styles TNA update
--Notes on ticket sales for TNA in Chicago
--Hulk Hogan's latest comments on TNA and its changes
--Notes on the weekend TNA house shows
--UFC drug test positive
--A look at TRT and Vitor Belfort
--Michael Bisping talks TRT
--This week's UFC lineup
--Why American fighters aren't thrilled about fighting in the U.K.
--What happened with UFC and Josh Barnett
--UFC's Memorial Day show looked at
--UFC's next show in Sweden looked at
--The next UFC on FOX show looked at
--A look at the TUF finals
--Lots more on women in UFC
--Ultimate Fighter news
--Will the Rousey vs. Carmouche special help the buy rate of the PPV?
--What Rousey will no longer talk about and why
--Crazy UFC schedule as the year goes forward
--More on Eddie Alvarez lawsuit against Bellator
--Did Tito Ortiz make a big mistake in how he's handling Cris Cyborg's career
--Ronda Rousey talks Cyborg not coming to 135
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Coverage of Bellator's last show
--Champion from Bellator signs with new group
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 talking Raw and the latest wrestling news. If you've got any questions for the show, they can be sent to
--The direction of WrestleMania should be more clear after tonight's show. The only thing new from last night is that Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger is the world title match, unless somehow Dolph Ziggler is involved in it with the briefcase cash in. Sheamus vs. Mark Henry is something at least talked about which explains why Henry was booked so strong last night.
--Zeb Colter will be doing a President's Day State of the Union speech on Raw tonight.
--The Today Show this morning had a story on a store in Alabama that would get unclaimed luggage bags and sell the contents. One of the things they had was a TNA title belt. Maybe that was the belt that was stolen some time back (thanks to Josh Marino)
--The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday had an interview with 18-year-old Jayden Lawrence, a national wrestling prodigy talking about how he would be 25, and in his peak in 2020, and that they may have taken his Olympic dream away.
--Ric Flair was back in TMZ news today in filing legal documents claiming his wife was physically abusive toward him. He's trying to void the separation agreement and what he was scheduled to pay that he agreed to in October, and has asked for a domestic violence protective order as well. He blamed her badmouthing him for costing him deals and now it's impossible to make the payments.
--Raymond Rougeau turned 58 today.
--Today is the anniversary of a number of notable deaths historically
*Chick Garibaldi was 46 when he passed away on this day in 1961 from a heart attack after a match with Bruno Sammartino at Sunnyside Gardens in New York
*Cal Farley, a promoter in Amarillo, was 71 when he passed away in 1967
*Mildred Burke, arguably the biggest female wrestling star ever in the U.S., was 73 when she passed away in 1989
*Kerry Von Erich, one of pro wrestling's biggest stars of the 80s and most charismatic wrestlers of the last 50 years was 33 when he committed suicide in 1993. Von Erich's title history included an NWA world champion, five-time American champion, IC champion, Missouri State champion, WWE IC champion and a number of other singles and tag titles.-
*Eddie Gilbert was 33 when he passed away due to a heart attack in Puerto Rico in 1995
*Slick Robbie D was 32 in 2002 when he died while in jail
*Ron Martinez, a promoter and television announcer from Cleveland who later owned a large videotape collection, was 57 when he passed away in 2010.(thanks to GeorgiaWrestlingHistory.com)
--In predictions, Josh Nason and Bryan Alvarez went 5-0 on Saturday, being the only ones to pick Cub Swanson over Dustin Poirier. Todd Martin, Oliver Copp and Mike Sawyer were 4-1 and me and Mike Sempervive went 3-2.
--Sinclair Broadcasting released a statement today saying they are at a contractual impasse with DirecTV. They say that negotiations have stalled and have asked people to call DirecTV to complain about losing their stations.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops and Graeme Cameron)
36 years ago - Larry O'Dea & Rick Martel won the Austra-Asian tag team titles beating Ed Wiskoski (later Col. DeBeers) & Masa Saito in Sydney. O'Dea & Wiskoski were champions and split up
35 years ago - In one of the biggest matches ever in Philadelphia, Superstar Billy Graham beat Bruno Sammartino in a cage match when Sammartino kicked Graham out of the door to lose. The show sold out and turned away thousands, causing a huge traffic jam and a local news story when TV stations told people in town to avoid going anywhere near the Spectrum.
29 years ago - Big John Studd beat Jan Wilkens in Capetown, South Africa to win their world superheavyweight championship
29 years ago - Brad Armstrong, wrestling under the name Mr. R, beat Ted DiBiase on Georgia Championship Wrestling to win the National heavyweight title. Tommy Rich had been Mr. R under the mask and DiBiase vowed to unmask Mr. R. Rich came out to distract DiBiase and Armstrong won and then unmasked.
28 years ago - Hulk Hogan vs. Roddy Piper in the War to Settle the Score match, the prelude to the first WrestleMania, where Mr. T got involved, aired on MTV live from Madison Square Garden. Not only was MSG sold out, but the show did a 9.1 rating, still the highest rated cable wrestling TV show of all-time.
17 years ago - Johnny B. Badd beat Lex Luger in Norfolk to win the WCW TV title
17 years ago - Bret Hart beat Diesel in a cage match at the Louisville Gardens when Undertaker came from under the ring and pulled Diesel through a hole in the canvas.
--As far as total Google searches yesterday, Mindy McCready was first, Downtown Abbey was second, NBA All-Star Game was third and WWE was fourth with Danica Patrick. Based on the volume, Chamber likely didn't go through the roof or anything as it was in the higher end of the usual "B" show level.
WHO DO YOU THINK WINS THIS FIGHT?
Renan Barao 56.8%
Dominick Cruz 43.2%
POLL ON ROH TV
62.2% of those responding didn't see the show
POLL ON UFC ON FUEL FROM ENGLAND
47.6% of those responding didn't see the show
IF YOU WATCHED UFC, DID YOU
Watch the whole, show Facebook & TV 22.3%
Only TV 71.8%
Only Facebook 5.8%
WHAT WAS THE BEST TV SHOW OF LAST WEEK?
UFC Prime Time 20.4%
UFC on Fuel Barao vs. McDonald 9.5%
Main Event 6.5%
Saturday Morning Slam 2.0%
Ultimate Fighter 2.0%
Inside MMA 0.5%
--Animal Planet is sending Eric Young on a media day on Thursday in Montreal. He is promoting the new season of "Off the Hook: Extreme Catches" which debuts on Canada's version of Animal Planet on 3/9 at 10 p.m.
--Belleview Pro Wrestling from yesterday in Belleview, FL: Santana Garrett b Jayson Falcone Chico Adams b Wiseman Pierce, Chasyn Rance b Alan Stratton, Santana Garrett b Chasyn Rance (thanks to Donald Fredricks)
is looking for information on how to buy tickets to the 5/11 Kenta Kobashi retirement show at Budokan Hall.
--BANG on 2/23 in Ocala, FL has Dory Funk Jr. & Johnny Magnum & ? vs. Cory Weston & Quinton Hitchcock & ?
--Gene Restaino noted watching season two of the original Hawaii 5-0 series form the 60s with Jack Lord and seeing Billy Whitewolf (Adnan Al-Kaissie) and Nick Bockwinkel on the show. Whitewolf was a goon for a drug dealer while Bockwinkel was a dock worker. Both worked regularly and were big stars for 50th State Wrestling at the time.
--CMLL yesterday in Guadalajara: Relampago Azul b Novato, Azteca de Oro & El Hippie b Acertijo & Thunder Boy, Black Metal won three-way over Sadico and Sky Kid, Espectrum & Infierno & Rafaga & Mr. Trueno b Alteno & Halcon de Plata & Leon Blanco & Smaker, El Hijo del Fantasma & Sagrado & Shocker b Olimpico & Polvora & Tiger
--The Crash promotion from Friday night in Tijuana: Tirano b Moloch, Mosco Negro & Pensamiento Negro & Sargon b Black Boy & Eternus & Venum Black Jr., Jonathan & Lolita b Cinico & Sexy Lady, X-Torm & Zarco b Carta Brava Jr. & Terno-DQ, Angel Metalico & Octagon Jr. b Star Boy & VientoNegro-DQ, Psycho Circus b Chessman & El Texano Jr. & Tony Casanova
--AAA has a TV taping tonight in Irapuato with Mesias Ricky Banderas & L.A. Park vs Chessman & Parka Negra plus the AAA trios titles with El Texano Jr. & Mascara Ano 2000 Jr. & Toscano defending against the Psycho Circus. (thanks to Kris Zellner and Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims)
--Devon Nicholson and Superstar Billy Graham will be doing an iPPV Q&A on 3/10 from Philadelphia. We'll have more on that as it approaches.
--CWE results from Friday night in Winnipeg: Danny Duggan b Tyler Colton, Syko b Scottie Raver, Marius b Kevy Chevy, Billy Blaze b Brian Rich, Bobby Collins b Samuel, A.J. Sanchez b Mentallo-DQ, Anderson Tyson Moore b La Sombra, Sons of Anarchy b J.J. Sanchez & Kory Kincaid-DQ, The Axe b Matt Fairline-DQ, Kevin Cannon & Mystery Client b Saints of Los Angeles, Tommy Dreamer vs., Marius vs. Robby Royce in an extreme rules match was ruled a no contest. Next show in Winnipeg is 3/15 with Shane Douglas.