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.
Saturday's News Update
--Bryan and I will be back with Wrestling Observer radio tonight talking the UFC show, TNA and more. You can send in questions for tonight's show to
--Bruno Sammartino was inducted into the Columbus, OH International Sports Hall of Fame in a private ceremony with Arnold Schwarzenegger. HHH spent the day with Sammartino trying to make the deal to get Schwarzenegger to induct Sammartino into the WWE Hall of Fame next month.
--Last night's Raw brand house show in Toronto at the Ricoh Coliseum was a legitimate sellout.
--At least at one point, Ric Flair was scheduled for Raw on Monday. We haven't heard anything otherwise, but he's also been canceled after being booked since his one appearance.
--Donald Trump was on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday and Access Hollywood Live on Wednesday. He didn't make any mention of WWE in either interview (thanks to Jake Koch)
--John Layfield won't be at TV this week either as he's still got several days to go mountain climbing. I think he's around 14,800 feet and has to reach 22,000 feet.
--The Mexican Football Federation has banned Pachuca striker Angel Reyna from doing his wrestling celebration after scoring called Mistico, named after Sin Cara's previous identity.
--Armen Nazaryan, a 1996 and 2000 gold medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling from Armenia, has decided to go on a hunger strike to protest the decision to remove wrestling from the Olympics. The 38-year-old said he would only drink syrup from this point forward.
--Among the names now scheduled for Wrestlecon in Secaucus, NJ on WrestleMania weekend doing autographs include Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, Bret Hart, Ultimate Warrior, Jushin Liger, Rob Van Dam, Kevin Nash, Lex Luger, George Steele, William Regal, formerly Kelly Kelly, Amy "Lita" Dumas, Bobby Heenan, Beth Phoenix, DDP, Jake Roberts, Ken Patera, Kamala, Paul Orndorff, One Man Gang, Tommy Dreamer, Iron Sheik, Bob Orton Jr., Demolition, Mr. Fuji, Outback Jack, Kevin Sullivan, Greg Valentine, Brutus Beefcake, Homicide, The Mean Street Posse and The Shockmaster.
--Lucha Libre Masked Warriors run 4/14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, CA with Blue Demon Jr., R.J. Brewer, Jon Rekon, Petey Williams, Stevie Richards, Psicosis, El Hijo del Fantasma, Super Crazy, Super Nova, Lizmark Jr., Mini Park, Pequeno Halloween, Mascara Purpura, Solar, Melina Perez, Shane Helms and more.
--For those in the U.K., UFC 158 coverage begins at midnight on 3/16 with the prelims followed at 2 a.m. with the main card on ESPN U.K.
THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops and Graeme Cameron)
76 years ago - Dick Shikat beat Danno O'Mahoney in a double-cross on O'Mahoney to win the world title, which killed the golden goose as O'Mahoney was doing baseball stadiums as world champion. This set the wheels in motion toward a major decline in pro wrestling
30 years ago - Espectro Jr. beat Lizmark to win the Mexican national middleweight title
20 years ago - Mano Negra beat Atlantis to win the NWA middleweight title in Acapulco
20 years ago - Paul Orndorff beat Erik Watts in a tournament final to win the TV title and Steve Austin & Brian Pillman beat Shane Douglas & Ricky Steamboat to win the WCW tag titles in Macon
18 years ago - Fuerza & Juventud Guerrera beat Rey Misterio Sr. & Jr. in Xalapa, Veracruz in a match where Fuerza & Juventud retained the AAA tag team titles, plus due to the stips, Juventud won the WWA lightweight title and Fuerza won the IWC middleweight title. That was a hell of a feud by the way. I'm really surprised it never was followed up on outside of Mexico.
WHO WINS THIS FIGHT?
Stefan Struve 65.6%
Mark Hunt 34.4%
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE DEL RIO VS. SWAGGER ANGLE?
Makes no difference, neither good nor bad for business 43.6%
Good angle, it's working 26.3%
Bad angle, it's a weak world title program but okay since the big matches will carry WrestleMania 17.2%
It hurts WrestleMania 12.9%
WHICH OF THESE FIGHTS DOES THE MOST BUSINESS?
GSP vs. Anderson Silva 56.7%
Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones 27.7%
Ronda Rousey vs. Cris Cyborg 7.6%
GSP vs. Nick Diaz 3.1%
Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen 2.1%
Jon Jones vs. Cain Velasquez 1.7%
GSP vs. Johny Hendricks 1.0%
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF BELLATOR ON THURSDAY?
61.4% of those responding didn't see the show.
POLL ON THURSDAY'S IMPACT
33.5% of those responding didn't see the show
--Results from last night's AIW Girls Night Out iPPV in Cleveland:
Addy Starr b Sassy Stephie
Athena b Kimber Lee
Veda Scott b Leva Bates
Mary Dobson b Annie Social
Angelus Layne b Jodi D'Milo
Heidi Lovelace & Nikki St. John b Angeldust & K.C. Warfield
Allysin Kay b Mickie Knuckles
Veda Scott won a three-way ladder match over Mary Dobson, Addy Starr and Athena. A VOD stream of the show is available at www.smvoid.com
priced at $14.99.
--New England Championship Wrestling on 3/22 in Randolph, MA has a show headlined by Antonio Thomas vs. Jeremy Prophet called March Badness.
--Workaholics on Comedy Central had a Lou Albano party on Thursday night's show. (thanks to Shane Richardson)
--Former WWE wrestler Romeo Roselli, now going by the name Giovanni Roselli, was Star Jones' trainer promoting Healthy Heart Month in February.
--As noted before, "The Simpsons" tomorrow night has a show with a pro wrestling theme.
--Maryland Wrestling Federation on Friday night in Glen Burnie, MD: Brandon Scott b Shorty Smalls, Chad Austin b Rockin Rebel, Shaun Cannon won a three-way over Blue Basher and Matt Reynolds, Mike Hite & Rayburn b Skull & Jimmy Aldean, Brian Hardy b Sonjay Dutt (thanks to Joe Burrows)