Also in this week's issue:
--Notes on CMLL's first big show of the year and its lineup
--Anniversaries coming up in Mexico
--Benefit show for the patriarch of the family that has produced the largest number of successful modern wrestlers
--Update on Arena Mexico wrestling
--Major legends match coming up
--Problems with a retirement show
--More notes on WrestleMania week shows
--Three promotions all run big shows in Japan head-to-head and how they did
--All Japan vs. Burning best-of-five seres
--A look at All Japan's first major show of the year including a rematch from one of the greatest fights in history
--Notes on wrestlers leaving New Japan
--Huge group of legends attend pro wrestling show this weekend including five Hall of Famers
--More on Nielsen looking at changing ratings
--Update on wrestling in the Olympics going forward
--1980s star will be part of a Lifetime reality show
--Notes on the AAA Canada show and the funny tournament they ran for their title
--Plans going forward
--A new pro wrestling reality show debuts i the U.S.
--New promotion opens its doors in April for "rematch of the century"
--Notes on the next ROH iPPV
--Hulk Hogan talks C.M. Punk
--Hulk Hogan talks why he nixed Bobby Roode as champion
--Reaction to Hogan's restaurant
--TNA looking at video games deal
--A look at TNA weekend shows
--Dana White talks cutting of Jon Fitch
--The real reason behind Fitch being cut
--Where Fitch is expected to end up
--The match equation around the UFC roster
--Lineup for this week's UFC show
--Alistair Overeem's testosterone level
--UFC again fights for legalization in New York
--Dana White unhappy with Diaz brothers
--Lots of UFC new matches and card changes
--More on UFC women's division
--Chael Sonnen files lawsuit
--More on Matt Riddle being cut
--Michael Bisping injuries
--UFC TV situation in the U.K.
--Notes on the most Explosive Bellator TV show to date
--What went wrong for King Mo
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.
Wednesday's News Update
--Bryan and I will be back tonight talking Smackdown, new UFC matches, books and taking your e-mail questions to
--WWE will be reporting its financial results tomorrow morning, and probably make an announcement regarding the start of the WWE Network. Not sure they'll announce the start date, but they'll update on the status.
--Sad to report the death today of the legendary Muay Thai champion Ramon Dekkers, considered by many as the greatest fighter of this generation. Dekkers apparently suffered a heart attack at 43 while riding his bicycle. Dekkers was the original striking coach of Alistair Overeem and Marloes Coenen.
--C.M. Punk was battling the flu on Monday night when he and John Cena had that great match.
--With Daniel Straus out of action with a broken hand, his place in the 4/4 Bellator featherweight title match will be taken by Shahbulat Shamhalaev, who earned the shot on Thursday, facing Pat Curran in Atlantic City.
--TNA will have the appearances by the following wrestlers at the Arnold Fitness Expo
Friday 11:30 a.m. Miss Tessmacher
Friday 2 p.m. Robbie E
Saturday 10:30 a.m. Kurt Angle and Crimson
Saturday 12:30 p.m. Kurt Angle and Rob Terry
Saturday 11 a.m. Rob Terry
Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Kurt Angle, Rob Terry and Crimson
Saturday at 4 p.m. Crimson
--The USA Network won the prime time ratings race this past week averaging 2.97 million viewers to 2.64 million for Disney. FX was No. 11 at 1.38 million. Syfy was No. 15 at 1.16 million. Spike was No. 21 at 913,000. Raw last week was No. 4, 5 and 6 overall. It was No. 6, 8 and 9 in 18-49.
--The Miz will be a guest on Conan O'Brien tonight on TBS at 11 p.m. (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--The HBO piece on Ronda Rousey will be replayed tonight at 6 pm.. Eastern.
--Ric Flair recently filmed an episode of Celebrity Wife Swap. Flair is in the process of divorcing, so they used his current girlfriend, Wendy Barlow (Fifi the Maid in WCW in the 90s) in the role. (thanks to Robert Miqueli)
--Sunday's episode of The Simpsons (FOX, 8 p.m.) has a pro wrestling theme. They find out Grandpa used to be a pro wrestler.(thanks to John Lawson)
--The Fight Club OC promotion runs tomorrow night on TVC+ Latino as a $3.95 PPV at www.tvclatinotv.com
--Stevie Richards talks his match with Raven at http://youtu.be/oiQ_C=JBJ7Q
This will take place on 4/4 in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory.
--Melvin Manhoef vs. Brock Larson has been added to the 4/5 One FC Kings & Champions show in Kallang, Singapore which will air as an iPPV.
--Mick Foley has been added to the 4/12 Night of the Superstars show in Waynesboro, VA.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST SHOW THIS WEEKEND?
New Japan anniversary show 43.7%
UFC on Fuel from Japan 33.6%
ROH Anniversary show 22.7%
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW?
C.M. Punk 34.9%
Brock Lesnar 21.4%
John Cena 19.2%
Zeb Colter 11.2%
Paul Heyman 2.7%
Alberto Del Rio 1.4%
Vince McMahon 0.4%
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF RAW?
6.0% of those responding didn't see the show. Some of the best marks for Raw in a long time..
--Absolute Intense Wrestling has an all-womens iPPV at $14.999 from http://smvod.com
on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time from Turners Hall in Cleveland featuring Allysin Kay, Veda Scott, Leva Bates, Kimber Lee and more.
--THIS DAY IN WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron, Keith Lagasse and Brian Hoops)
63 years ago - Joe Cox beat Yvon Robert to win Montreal's version of the world title
55 years ago - Enrique & Alberto Torres beat Casey & Danny McShane to win the Texas tag team titles in Galveston
51 years ago - Handsome Johnny Barend & Magnificent Maurice beat Art & Stan Neilsen to win the AWA world tag team tiles
49 years ago - Kangaroos Al Costello & Roy Heffernan beat Edouard Carpentier & Ernie Ladd in Bakersfield to win the WWA tag team titles
46 years ago - A Madison Square Garden show was headlined by Gorilla Monsoon beating Bruno Sammartino via count out
43 years ago - Domenic DeNucci & Bobo Brazil beat Kinji Shibuya & Mitsu Arakawa to win the IWA world tag team titles in Sydney
43 years ago - Abdullah the Butcher beat Billy Robinson in Calgary to win the North American title
42 years ago - Killer Kowalski & Mark Lewin beat Dick Murdoch & Dusty Rhodes to win the IWA tag team titles in Melbourne
40 years ago - Giant Baba wins the greatest tournament in pro wrestling history to become the first PWF champion in Tokyo
39 years ago - Danny Miller beat Ole Anderson in a tournament final in Raleigh to become the first Mid Atlantic TV champion
38 years ago - The Royal Kangaroos, Lord Jonathan Boyd & Norman Fredrich Charles III beat Dutch Savage & Jimmy Snuka to win the Pacific Northwest tag team titles
37 years ago - Adorable Rubi Rubicala beat the original Dr. Wagner in Mexico City to win the NWA world light heavyweight title
37 years ago - Chavo Guerrero & Gori Guerrero beat Senor X (J.C. Dykes) & Karl Von Brauner to win the Americas tag team titles in Los Angeles:
36 years ago - Fishman beat Blue Demon in Guadalajara to win the Mexican national welterweight title
35 years ago - Don Leo Jonathan & John Quinn beat Black Avenger & Don Wayt to win the Canadian Open tag team titles in Vancouver
33 years ago - John & Rick Davidson beat Chris Adams & Tom Prichard to win the Americas tag team titles in Los Angeles
32 years ago - Gino Hernandez beat Chavo Guerrero in Houston to win the NWA International jr. heavyweight title
32 years ago - David Shutls beat Leo Burke in Calgary to win the North American title
30 years ago - Fishman beat Sangre Chicana in Naucalpan to win the UWA light heavyweight title
30 years ago - Bob Sweetan beat Tully Blanchard in San Antonio to win the Southwest title
29 years ago - Danny Davis & Hubert Gallant beat Davey Boy Smith & Bruce Hart to win the International tag team titles in Vancouver
28 years ago - Dory Funk Jr. beat Carlos Colon in Bangor, ME to win the WWC Universal title and retain the ICW title
13 years ago - Kurt Angle beat Chris Jericho to win the IC title at the No Way Out PPV in Hartford and the Dudleys beat The New Age Outlaws to win the WWF tag team titles. Big Show beat The Rock on that card headlined by HHH over Mick Foley in a Hell in a Cell match..
--There will be a Heroes & Legends Wrestling Fanfest on 3/23 in Fort Wayne, IN at the Lutheran Health Sportscntner featuring Bret Hart, Jake Roberts, Koko B.Ware, Ron Simmons, Brian Christopher, Ro-Z Virgil, Gregory Iron and Ted DiBiase Sr.. Wrestling on the show that night include Tatanka, Demolition, Jimmy Snuka, Jim Duggan and Colt Cabana.
--RF Video is testing its iPPV system at 8 p.m. tonight. You can view a free iPPV at www.rfvideonow.com/livetest/
They will be playing interviews with Blue Meanie, Shane Helms, Adam Cole, Sami Callihan and Rich Swann.
--Kenny Florian talks Ronda Rousey at http://www.nypost.com
where he says a lot of fighters would have tapped in that facelock Liz Carmouche had on Rousey.
--John Lineker vs. Azamat Gashimov has been added to the 5/18 UFC show in Santa Catarina, Brazil
--Sunday results from Tlalnepantla: Payaso Carrona & Payaso Terror b Arkanos & Rayo del Futuro, Perico & Quimco Jr. & Ultimo Vampiro b Ojo Diabolico Jr. & Yago & Templario, Los Payasos Tricolor b Cocerl & Babel & Bugambilla, Mr. Niebla & Negro Casas & Felino b Angel o Demonio & Leon Rojo & Ovett, Dragon Rojo Jr. & Mephisto & Ultimo Guerrero b Carta Brava Jr. & Ricky Marvin & Super Crazy
--CMLL from Monday night in Puebla: Asturiano & Black Tiger & Tigre Rojo Jr. b Akron & Blue Center & Sauron, Metalico & Molotov & Pegasso b El Hijo del Signo & Hooligan & Taurus, Pequeno Olimpico b Astral to retain CMLL Minis title, Angel de Oro & Blue Panther & Mascara Dorada b Ephesto & Puma King & Vangelis (fans threw money into the ring when it was over, which in Mexico is a sign of respect), Mistico & La Sombra & Thunder b Kraneo & Psicosis & Volador Jr.
--CMLL from last night in Guadalajara: Magnum & Exterminador b Metatron & Vigo, Gallo & Esfinge b Malefico & Barbaro Cavernario, Astral & Fantasy & Ultimo Dragoncito b Demus 3:16 & Pequeno Olimpico & Pierrothito, Stuka Jr. & Rey Cometa & El Hijo del Fantasma b Okumura & Namajague & Rey Escorpion-DQ, Averno & Mephisto & El Terrible b Shocker & Thunder & Maximo (thanks to Steve Dr. Lucha Sims and Kris Zellner)
--There is a 3/15 show at the Auditorio in Tijuana with Canek & El Hijo del Santo vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. & El Hijo del Solitario
--Wild Bill's Fight Night returns Friday night at Wild Bill's in Duluth, GA. All fights will be in a cage instead of a ring as in the past. Roger Carroll vs. Dhiego Lima headlines.
--GOUGE has its Redneck Rumble on 3/8 in Creedmoor, NC at South Granville High School
--Donald Trump was on the Wendy Williams show this morning with daughter Ivanka. Williams asked the two of them what they have in common. Ivanka said they both life real estate and golf. Trump said he was going to say they both like sex. Williams said Donald's response was "Hulk Hogan creepy." No talk about the WWE Hall of Fame (thanks to Josh Marino)
--Bret Hart will be hosting the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival on 3/17 at The Comedy Bar.