Also in this week's issue:
--Fan movement trying to spur change with Japanese wrestling on television
--A look at New Japan's anniversary show lineup
--What New Japan star has been training at the Blackhouse Gym with Anderson Silva
--A look at Oklahoma television icon and former pro wrestling announcer Danny Williams
--Story behind Ric Flair's latest TMZ publicity and his financial issues with his separation
--Another major show set for WrestleMania weekend
--Notes on TNA finishing up all its taped PPV shows of the year by the end of next month
--More on TNA's new German TV deal and how it really happened
--Hulk Hogan's criticism of Bret Hart. Does it hold any water?
--A look back at where the Hogan-Hart issues started, stopped and started again
--A look at the weekend TNA house shows
--A look at ticket sales for all the upcoming UFC events
--Business notes for UFC 156
--A look at UFC as a business, profitability, revenue, what we do know and what we don't know
--Complete look at UFC 157
--Tito Ortiz representing Cyborg and her signing with Invicta. The pros and cons of the deal
--What huge risk Invicta may be taking if some current negotiations are followed up on
--What happened with UFC and Nick Diaz
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Update on UFC's status in New York after a judge heard their case this past week
--What UFC can do, can't do, and prefers to do
--Major names talking about what fights they want
--More on UFC international business
--What big match UFC was looking at doing over Memorial Day and how it fell apart
--What match was scheduled for Sweden and why it's not happening there
--What Dana White told Cain Velasquez after Overeem lost
--New York Times looks at the Bellator/UFC promotional battle, what UFC wanted from Spike, what Spike wants from Bellator and more
--UFC developmental program to try and target a demographic
--Update on B.J. Penn and Frank Mir
--One of pro wrestling's biggest stars playing two groups against each other and where it seems to stand
--A major star from the 80s doing a retirement match and the unfortunate incident that made him such a big heel
--A look at CMLL's King of Flyers
--Promotion in talk with a new station
--Two companies that have nothing in common that are working together and why
--Big matches coming to Dragon Gate in Japan, England and the U.S.
--All-time legend returns to Japan
--Pro wrestler says he's going to attempt to make the Olympic team because of it being the last Olympics
--A look at the new AAA Canada group and why Lance Storm isn't happy about it after he was stiffed money
--The promotional war in Puerto Rico as well as a Puerto Rican group looking at running shows in California and New York
--More on Jake Roberts, DDP and Scott Hall
--Former pro wrestler who headlined at the Superdome and is now the star of a new TV show
--English language New Japan TV matches airing in Canada
--Former wrestler lands a role in a Showtime series
--Major TV situation involving ROH
--A look at the weekend ROH TV taping
--Nick Diaz's legal case is ruled on
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
--Ultimate Fighter on Tuesday did a 0.9 rating
--No updates regarding Jack Swagger or how WWE will handle the situation.
Hogan said that doing the U.K. tour without a champion (Jeff Hardy wasn't allowed to come to the U.K. because of a felony drug conviction) doesn't make sense.
--A friend of mine at one of the leading newspapers in the country told me that it was amazing the amount of web traffic Ronda Rousey is drawing. She is just a step below Manny Pacquiao (who is the king of web traffic in sports) and Floyd Mayweather, and the same as Brock Lesnar at his UFC peak.
--I want to make mention of a book I just got yesterday called "The Strap: A Complete History of Sam Muchnick's Missouri State championship" by Roger Deem. The book, published by Scott Teal's Crowbar Press at http://www.crowbarpress.com
has a history of the championship, with all the title matches, as well as non-title and TV matches of all the champions. What makes the book interesting is they have interviews with most of the champions, as well as tons of stuff with Larry Matysik from taped interviews talking about the booking, what worked, what didn't work, and a lot more. The book is a fun look at the St. Louis scene in the 70s and early 80s, as well as interesting lessons in what went on behind the scenes as far as politics, booking and more.
--Saturday was the single most watched today in the history of Fuel TV, beating the record set on 4/14 (when they aired a UFC show from Stockholm, Sweden).
--CMLL had a press conference today to announce several events
On 4/7, they will have the 70th anniversary of pro wrestling at Arena Coliseo in Mexico City
On 4/26, they will have the 57th anniversary of pro wrestling at Arena Mexico
On 9/20, they will have the 80th anniversary of the EMLL promotion with a show at Arena Mexico
On 3/15 is El Homenaje a Dos Leyendas, the company's first big show of the year, honoring Salvador Lutteroth, the founder of Lucha Libre and promoter for EMLL for decades, has Rayo de Jalisco Sr. Announced for the show is the finals of the National Parejas Increibles tournament (one face and one heel on each time) plus a tag match where Stuka Jr. puts up his mask and Rey Cometa puts up his hair against Namajague's mask and Okumura's hair. Plus, a women's hair vs. hair match with Estrellita vs. Amapola. They also announced a legends match bringing back Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs. Universo 2000 (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims)
--The biggest traffic driver on the Los Angeles Times web site on Tuesday was a story on The Rock unveiling the new WWE title belt.
--Michael Bisping has a trapped nerve problem in his neck and may need surgery. He said his right arm is a lot weaker than his left and his muscle is atrophying and can't make a fist. Still, he has not pulled out of his fight with Alan Belcher in two months.
--Wade Barrett will be attending the premiere in Los Angeles for "Dead Man Down" this coming Tuesday, so that would mean he's going to miss Smackdown tapings.
--Hulk Hogan is scheduled for a rare TNA house show appearance on the 4/5 show (Friday night before Mania) in Westbury, NY. Kurt Angle, Bully Ray, James Storm, Bobby Roode and RVD are the headliners.
--Linda McMahon wrote a story about women leading America today in the Huffington Post/ at www.huffingtonpost.com
--You know things have gotten out of hand when the press release for Friday night's Showtime boxing card (Art Hovhannisyan vs. Alejandro Perez main event) is all about Ronda Rousey. The story is that Rousey would like to be at the show, because Hovhannisyan trains at the same gym she trains boxing at, but she can't because she's got a fight the next day. However, Hovhannisyan is planning after his fight on going to her fight.
--The next ROH iPPV on 3/2 from Chicago Ridge:
Kevin Steen vs. Jay Lethal for ROH title
Briscoes vs. Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly for ROH tag titles
Adam Cole vs. Matt Taven for TV title
Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards vs. Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov
Charlie Haas vs. B.J. Whitmer
Michael Elgin vs. Roderick Strong 2/3 falls
Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Steve Corino
Cole vs. Matt Hardy will take place on 3/3 at the TV tapings which also includes Richards & Edwards vs. ACH & Tadarius Thomas
--Mick Foley has these comedy dates for March
3/6 in Louisville at Comedy Caravan
3/20 in Sacramento at the Punch Line Comedy Club
3/21 in San Francisco at Cobb's Comedy Club
--Ric Flair will be appearing at Sunday's NXT show in Melbourne, FL at the Melbourne Auditorium with a 6 p.m. Meet and Greet. NXT also runs tomorrow night in Jacksonville at the Armory with a Billy Gunn Meet and Greet, 3/1 in Plant City,FL at the Armory and 3/8 in Valdosta, GA at the Rainwater Center.
--Flair did an interview with http://www.wtsp.com
talking about his daughter, Ashley, who is wrestling in NXT as Charlotte.
--There are tickets left for the Gene Okerlund, Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross Q&A tomorrow night in Milwaukee at the Northern Lights Theater and the Potawatomi Casino. Okerlund will be all over Milwaukee radio tonight.
Betting odds for Saturday from 5 Dimes
Liz Carmouche +775
Ronda Rousey -1200
Dan Henderson +210
Lyoto Machida -250
Ivan Menjivar +310
Urijah Faber -370
Josh Koscheck -470
Robbie Lawler +375
Court McGee -280
Josh Neer +240
Brendan Schaub -130
Lavar Johnson +110
As far as other fights, GSP is -470 over Nick Diaz, Benson Henderson is -240 over Gilbert Melendez and Jon Jones is -1100 against Chael Sonnen.
--A note if you saw the update yesterday before it was corrected, at the Evolve tournament on 4/5, we listed singles matches with Sami Callihan vs. Samuray del Sol and Jigsaw vs. Rich Swann, but it's actually a four-way with all four of them, the winner later meeting Chuck Taylor. The idea is the odds are tougher for the lower seeded wrestlers.
--Wade Barrett was on TalkSport in the U.K. today talking about soccer, in particular the Preston Northend, injuries in wrestling and plugged WWE's WrestleMania revenge tour in April. (thanks to Matt Barker)
THIS DAY IN WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops and Graeme Cameron)
44 years ago - Spyros Arion beat Killer Karl Kox in Sydney to win the IWA heavyweight title and Don Leo Jonathan & Antonio Pugliese (Tony Parisi) beat Brute Bernard & Skull Murphy to win the tag team titles
38 years ago - Paul DeMarco beat Spyros Arion in Brisbane to win the Austra-Asian heavyweight title
20 years ago: Barry Windham beat the Great Muta to win the NWA world title in Asheville, NC on the same card Vader beat Sing in a strap match
14 years ago: Barry Windham & Curt Hennig beat Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko to win the WCW tag titles, while Scott Half beat Roddy Piper to win the U.S. title and Hulk Hogan retained the WCW title beating Ric Flair
WHAT SHOULD WWE DO REGARDING JACK SWAGGER AND ZEB COLTER?
Ignore the arrest, keep the angle going 32.7%
Drop the angle completely 25.6%
Suspend Swagger, pick up the angle on his return 24.1%
Put Colter with someone else 17.6%
SHOULD UFC HAVE CUT JON FITCH?
No, company looks bad cutting a guy in their own top ten, kills credibility in their ratings 33.1%
No, Fitch had a name and a fan base and is too good a fighter to be cut 26.1%
Yes, this is the sports and entertainment business, people don't want to see him 19.5%
No, kills sports credibility 7.6%
Yes, Fitch isn't anything special as a fighter and they needed to make cuts 6.8%
Yes, this is the entertainment business and he's not entertaining 4.2%
No, this is the entertainment business and he is entertaining 2.5%
So it breaks down to 69.3% think he shouldn't have been cut.
POLL ON COUNTDOWN TO UFC 157
50.4% of those responding didn't see the show
WILL UFC 157 DO 300,000 BUYS
--Empire Wrestling Federation from Saturday night in San Bernardino: Brute Baretto b Patient Zero, Killa Gorilla b Mikey O'Shea, Richie Slade b Sugar Sweet, Ryan Taylor & Mondo Vega b Mexican Warrior & Andy Brown, Raccid Abdul Najjar b Sgt. Sanders in a Boot Camp match, Brandon Gatson b Andrew Hellman (thanks to Frank Mott)
--CZW on 3/9 at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ has Masada vs. Matt Tremont vs. Joe Gacy vs. Christina Von Eerie
--In Your Face Wrestling on 3/16 in Ballston Spa, NY at the Community Center has an afternoon convention with Shelton Benjamin,Nunzio, Tammy Sytch and Rosita, plus a 7 p.m. show with all four of them and Boogeyman.
--CWE on 3/15 in Winnipeg at the Polish Fraternal Hall with Shane Douglas vs. Danny Duggan as the main event.
--Does anyone have contact information on Bull Nakano?
--Absolute Intense Wrestling on 3/1 at Turner's Hall in Cleveland.
--Australia's At the Movies TV show had a poll for the 100 best movies on 2012. Two movies featured a wrestler, in both cases, Kevin Nash, as Rock of the Ages was No. 61 and Magic Mike was No. 98 (thanks to James Stanios)
--Premier Championship Wrestling on 3/16 in Winnipeg at Doubles Fun Club has its 11th anniversary show with Kenny Omega, Mentallo, and Steve Corino.
--Ring Warriors on 2/23 in Pembroke Pines, FL at the Broward College South Campus Gym with Bruce Santee vs. Steve Corino and Cassidy Riley & Wes Brisco vs. Scoot Andrews & Billy Fives.
--Wrestling Cares has a tournament on 4/27 in Los Angeles at the Alexandria Ballroom to benefit the Scott Schwartz Children's Foundation featuring Colt Cabana, Davey Richards, Kyle O'Reilly, Adam Cole, Sami Callihan, Kyle Matthews, Tony Nese, Jamin Olivencia, Steve Anthony, Caprice Coleman, Pepper Parks, Vordell Walker, Drew Gulak,Jeff McAllister, Bobby Sharp and Maria Kanellis. There will be a tournament with ten minute time limits, and sudden death overtimes.
--Resurrection Fighting Alliance on 3/22 in Broomfield, CO at the First Bank Center is headlined by Brandon Thatch (8-1) vs. Leandro Silva (18-7) for a show that will air live on AXS.
--Matt Riviera is available at
for bookings. They also have Alex Koslov available between Japan tours, as well as Jake Roberts and Diamond Dallas Page.
--Platinum Championship Wrestling on 3/2 in Porterdale, GA at 2001 Main St.