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.
Monday's News Update
--Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio talking Raw, UFC 157 aftermath, Ciclon Negro as well as taking your questions at
--Undertaker didn't work the house show last night in College Station, TX. He had worked in Waco the night before.
--Ric Flair turned 64 today. Although having birthdays today are Sean O'Haire (42) and Maria Kanellis (31)
TODAY IN WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops and Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
39 years ago: Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, defeated Sonny Liston to win boxing's world heavyweight title
28 years ago: Mano Negra beat Negro Navarro in Puebla to win the UWA junior light heavyweight title
28 years ago: The Crush Gals beat Dump Matsumoto & Crane Yu to win the All Japan women tag team titles. You haven't seen heat if you haven't seen the Crush Gals against Dump Matsumoto from that era.
23 years ago: WrestleWar from the Greensboro Coliseum featured Ric Flair beat Lex Luger via count out in the main event, The Steiner Brothers beat Ole & Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk beat Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin\
19 years ago: Megumi Kudo beat Leilani Kai to win the FMW WWWA Independent women's title
18 years ago: Return of the Funker at the ECW Arena featured Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko beating Sabu & Taz to win the ECW tag team titles
--Chris Jericho talks to Konnan for hour one of a three hour conversation at http://www.MLW.com
--Raw and Smackdown dates are set for 5/6 in Roanoke and 5/7 in Raleigh.
--Ric Flair was at the NXT show in Melbourne, FL last night. Flair also managed his daughter Ashley, who teamed with Summer Rae to beat Paige & Sasha Banks when Ashley used the figure four leglock.
--If you can believe it, 47-year-old Tank Abbott returns to fighting to face Ruben "Warpath" Villareal on 4/13 in Oroville, CA at the Gold Country Casino for King of the Cage Fighting Legends. The fight will air nationally on MavTV.
--Chael Sonnen filed suit against his business partner, Lee Gamble, who he co-owns Mean Street Pizza in West Lin, OR. Sonnen claims Gamble embezzled $20,000 and owes him another $23,000 in money he borrowed from him and unpaid rent on his place. Story is at www.oregonlive.com
And yes, the name of the pizza place was named after the Mean Street Posse tag team in WWE years ago featuring the immortal Pete Gas.
Jones is suffering from dementia and his children moved him from Tulsa to be closer to them in Amarillo. Jones is in need on some basic things like XL clothes and personal care items. Donations can be sent to Country Club Manor Attention: Tom Jones/George Thompson, 9 Medical Dr., Amarillo, TX 79106.
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF SATURDAY'S ROH TV SHOW?
58.4% of those responding didn't see the show
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF FRIDAY'S SMACKDOWN?
46.0% of those responding didn't see the show
BEST TV SHOW OF THE WEEK
UFC Prime Time Rousey vs. Carmouche 20.2%
UFC 157 prelims 12.9%
Ultimate Fighter 3.4%
Countdown to UFC 157 1.1%
Saturday Morning Slam 0.6%
--Charity Appeal Wrestling Shows on 3/15 in Luton, Bedfordshire at the Stopsley Working Mens Club.
--CMLL from last night in Guadalajara: Hippie & Azteca de Oro b Demonio Rojo & Acertijo, Smaker b Mr. Trueno, Leon Blanco & alterno b Espectrum & Infierno-DQ, Leo b Black Metal, Brazo de Plata & Mascara Dorada b Mr. Aguila & Polvora, Olimpico b Acertijo to retain Western States welterweight title (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner)
--Pro Wrestling Bushido from yesterday in Stockton: Kimmie Shellhammer & Lucky O'Shea b Brittany Wonder & Kurai Hime, Willie Mack b Jesus Kruze, T.J. Perkins b Brian Cage (TNA Gut Check guy) Sir Samurai won elimination match over Johnny Yuma, Ray Rosas and Mike Rayne, D-Torch & Virgil Flynn b Rik Luxury & Bobby Hart, Amber O'Neil b Savannah Riley, Samuray Del Sol b Super Tiger, Timothy Thatcher b Eddie Edwards, Johnny Goodtime b Drake Younger
--WCWO presents A Weekend with the Barber on 3/9 and 3/10 in Indianapolis at the Outlaw Arena featuring Brutus Beefcake. He will be doing a seminar on 3/9 from 3-4 p.m. and will be wrestling on a free admission show that night. He'll also be there on 3/10 for a TV taping and tickets are $5. Action starts at 4 p.m.
--Jessica McKay has been added to the 4/6 Shimmer iPPV show from Secaucus, NJ.
--There is a tribute show on 3/2 at Arena La Cantera in Mexico City for Emilio Charles Jr. A lot of current CMLL stars will be appearing as well as former stars including Fuerza Guerrera.
--MV Promotions runs Auditorio Municipal in Tijuana on Friday night with El Hijo del Huracan Ramirez & Supremo Jr. & TJ Boy vs. El hijo del Canek & Universo 2000 Jr. & X-Torm.
--Maximum Fighting Championships announced a show called True Grit on 5/10 in Edmonton at the Shaw Conference Centre featuring a heavyweight title fight with Smealinho Rama vs. Chris Barnett and a bantamweight match with Anthony Birchak vs. Ryan Benoit.