Also in this week's issue:
--Another nail in the coffin of the era of wrestling magazines
--Announcement of the biggest match in Mexico in at least a decade and a look back at the biggest matches of the last 25 years
--A look at major plans for the CMLL promotion
--A look at the 70th anniversary of wrestling at one of its legendary arenas
--Why a wrestler who just had his retirement show is returning
--Legendary Hall of Famer now in AAA
--Takeshi Morishima's 15th anniversary show
--Satoru Sayama's Real Japan Pro Wrestling card notes
--A look at the career and death of Bill Smithson, formerly Moondog Spike in the USWA
--Who was the original Moondog before pro wrestling?
--Who was pro wrestling's first Moondog
--A look at the creation of the Moondogs tag team
--How Smithson got started in pro wrestling
--Lots more on what happened with Chris Masters
--A look at al the publicity Masters has received
--What happened with the Extreme Rising shows this past week
--More on Sean Waltman's injury
--A look at the Jerry Lynn retirement show
--Another wrestler announces he's retiring next week
--Update on the movement to get wrestling back in the Olympics
--The return of Abyss and why
--More on Rick Bassman's autobiography project
--Cost of getting Hulk Hogan for an appearance
--Former WWE wrestler wants to try out for the NFL
--Pro wrestling's greatest announcing pair may be getting back together next month
--Latest on wrestling in Puerto Rico
--Notes on a wrestling tour of India
--Update on Chyna
--Upcoming ROH cards
--More on Bully Ray apologizing for comments to a fan and what he said afterwards
--Cost of TNA taping on the road
--Thoughts on new X Division rules
--What happened to Jeff Jarrett
--Former WrestleMania headliner says he's in talks with TNA
--A look at what should be one of TNA's biggest house shows ever
--UFC fires Lavar Johnson
--Update on health issues with Dan Hardy
--A look at the next major FOX card and the date scheduled after that for FOX
--What is going head-to-head with the next FOX card
--The strange story of the UFC 158 weigh-ins in Montreal
--Why the Diaz camp is so upset
--GSP in the movies
--Nevada commission being questioned
--Latest UFC advances
--Notes on the UFC show in Newark next month
--Ronda Rousey signs endorsement deal
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Former UFC fighter blasts Dana White
--A look at the final two Bellator episodes of this season
--One of the craziest MMA stories ever
--Three successful boxing events coming this next month
--Olympic gold medalist scores another quick win
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 $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to
For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 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 and all the wrestling and MMA news. We should have plenty of time for questions tonight which can be sent to
--The cancellation of the Extreme Rising shows over WrestleMania week are due to disappointing advances for the shows, particularly the one scheduled for Philadelphia. The promotion is planning on continuing, but concede that they are going to need local television to make their plans work. They do concede they should have run in Secaucus, NJ, as part of WrestleCon instead of Staten Island and Philadelphia.
--Added to WrestleMania is Brodus Clay & Tensai & Naomi & Cameron vs. Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow & Bella Twins, as has been planned now for several weeks.
--The presale for WWE's Money in the Bank PPV starts tomorrow at 10 a.m. and ends Friday at 10 p.m. for the show at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on 7/14. The password code is WWEPPV (thanks to Bill King and others)
--Monday's WrestleMania go-home Raw at the Verizon Arena in Washington, DC is almost sold out. The 4/8 Raw at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ, is sold out.
--Dwayne Johnson was on Good Morning America today talking about G.I. Joe and how he cheats on his diet on certain days with pancakes, pizza and brownies. He didn't talk wrestling on the show. (thanks to Josh Marino).
--He was also on Live with Kelly. this morning to also promote G.I. Joe but did bring up wrestling, saying he returned to WWE to give back to the business that he's always loved. (thanks to Jeff Beecher)
--A story on Paul Wight's pre-Big Show days as a 325-pound college basketball center at Wichita State at http://msn.foxsports.com/collegebasketball/story/ncaa-tournament-paul-wight-wwe-big-show-wichita-state-athletic-start-032713
(thanks to Barry Werner)
--The USA Network was No. 1 in prime time last week averaging 3.32 million viewers to 2.93 million for The History Channel. FX was No. 14 with 1.27 million. Syfy was No. 16 with 1.11 million. Spike was No. 24 with 768,000. The three hours of Raw last week were No. 9, No. 10 and No. 11. The Kids Choice Awards, which Dwayne Johnson appeared on, was No. 5 with 5.82 million viewers. In 18-49, two of the three hours made the top ten at No. 8 and No. 10.
--Simon Rutz, the head of kickboxing promotion "It's Showtime," announced today he was retiring from kickboxing. It's Showtime was purchased by Glory Sports in October.
--The next Glory Sports show is 4/6 in Istanbul, Turkey, at the Ulker Sports Arena, headlined by Daniel Ghita vs. Gokhan Saki. The winner of this fight will get a fight later this year with Semmy Schilt. Glory also runs 4/20 in Milan, Italy at he Mediolanum Forum with Giorgio Petrosyan (75-1) against Hafid El Boustati (67-7-3). They also run 5/3 in Tokyo at the Ariake Coliseum with an eight-man featherweight (143 pound) tournament.
--Tonight on Fuel has a UFC special "Before They Were Stars at 7 p.m. followed by UFC 140, the Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida fight, at 8 p.m. and the Nate Diaz vs Melvin Guillard Fight night at midnight.
--Added to the main event for the 4/7 six-man tag on the Dragon Gate iPPV with Johnny Gargano & Rich Swann & Ricochet vs. Cima & Eita & ? is that the winner of the fall will be able to pick his own future title match for the Evolve title, the Open the Freedom Gate tile or the Open the United Gate tag titles. This is not a Money in the Bank stipulation, but a stipulation where he can name the date and pick which title he is going after.
HOW MANY BUYS WILL WRESTLEMANIA DO IN NORTH AMERICA?
Under 500,000 11.8%
More than 951,000 9.9%
WHO WAS THE BEST OF THESE ON INTERVIEWS?
Terry Funk 37.6%
Jerry Lawler 23.3%
Superstar Billy Graham 16.9%
Nick Bockwinkel 15.1%
Fred Blassie 7.1%
WHO WAS THE GREATEST STAR IN LOS ANGELES WRESTLING HISTORY?
Fred Blassie 45.6%
Gorgeous George 13.2%
Steve Austin 11.3%
Hulk Hogan 10.0%
Jim Londos 6.3%
Mil Mascaras 5.6%
John Tolos 4.2%
Strangler Lewis 2.3%
Man Mountain Dean 0.8%
Enrique Torres 0.4%
Vincent Lopez 0.2%
WHO WAS THE GREATEST STAR IN OREGON WRESTLING HISTORY?
Roddy Piper 61.1%
Buddy Rose 20.4%
Billy Jack Haynes 7.0%
Lonnie Mayne 5.1%
Dutch Savage 3.7%
Tony Borne 1.4%
Kurt Von Poppenheim 1.4%
WHO WAS THE GREATEST STAR IN MEMPHIS WRESTLING HISTORY?
Jerry Lawler 84.3%
Jackie Fargo 5.7%
Sputnik Monroe 4.6%
Lance Russell 3.9%
Billy Wicks 1.0%
Bill Dundee 0.5%
WHO WAS THE BEST OF THESE ON INTERVIEWS?
Ric Flair 54.5%
Mick Foley 18.9%
Jake Roberts 13.4%
Dusty Rhodes 13.2%
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW THIS WEEK?
The Rock 42.2%
C.M. Punk 11.1%
John Cena 9.9%
Chris Jericho 8.6%
Mark Henry 1.0%
POLL ON RAW
14.5% of those responding didn't see the show
--Charlie Haas turned 41 today. SoCal Val turned 27 today.
--Due to Jon Anik's wife expecting, Mike Goldberg is going to be announcing the 4/6 show in Stockholm with Kenny Florian. Anik usually does all the FX and Fuel shows. Anik's second daughter is due on 4/10. It's possible Goldberg may be called into duty for the 4/13 TUF finals in Las Vegas, but right now Anik is scheduled for that show.
TODAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops and Graeme Cameron)
60 years ago - Ed Francis beat Lou Klein in Columbus, OH to become the MWA world junior heavyweight champion. Ed Francis two sons became pro wrestlers (one, Russ, was also an NFL star). Ed became more famous as the promoter during the golden age of wrestling in Hawaii
54 years ago - Shag Thomas & Mighty Ursus (Jesse Ortega) beat Maurice & Paul Vachon to win the International tag team titles in Calgary
52 years ago - Guy & Joe Brunetti beat Mitsu Arkawa & Mr. Moto to win the Canadian Open tag team titles in Vancouver
46 years ago - Fritz Von Erich beat Brute Bernard in Fort Worth to win the American title
43 years ago - Cowboy Frankie Laine & Lonnie Mayne beat Kurt & Karl Von Steiger to win the Pacific Northwest tag team titles
42 years ago - Stan Stasiak beat Dutch Savage to win the Pacific Northwest title
42 years ago - The Avengers (Jimmy Golden & Dennis Hall) beat Lorenzo Parente & Bobby Hart to win the world tag team titles in Chattanooga
31 years ago - Invader I beat Bobby Jaggers in Bayamon to win the North American title
30 years ago - Roddy Piper beat Dick Slater in Asheville to win the NWA TV title
30 years ago - Private Nelson beat Terry Kay in Toronto to win the Canadian TV title
25 years ago - Bruiser Brody pinned Jumbo Tsuruta in Tokyo to win the International heavyweight title
25 years ago - WrestleMania IV took place in Atlantic City with Randy Savage winning a tournament beating Ted DiBiase in the finals with help from Hulk Hogan to win the WWF title. Demolition won the WWF tag titles from Rick Martel & Tito Santana
25 years ago - The first Clash of the Champions took place headlined by Ric Flair retaining the NWA title going to a 45 minute draw with Sting'
21 years ago - Eddie Gilbert beat The Dark Patriot (his brother Doug Gilbert) to win the North American title in Dallas
19 years ago - Kyoko Inoue beat Toshiyo Yamada in Yokohama to win the All-Pacific title
19 years ago - Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda beat Mayumi Ozaki & Cutie Suzuki in Yokohama to win the JWP tag team titles
18 years ago - Manabu Nakanishi beat Yuji Nagata in Tokyo to win the Young Lions tournament
17 years ago - Lance Storm & Yuji Yasuraoka beat Gedo & Chris Jericho in Nagoya to win the International jr. heavyweight tag team titles
--Veronica Rothenhausler has pulled out of the 4/5 Invicta MMA show due to injury. Her opponent, Mollie Estes (1-1) will now face Julia Budd (4-2) on the show that will air on iPPV from Kansas City.
--Absolute Intense Wrestling on Friday night in Cleveland at Turner's Hall features a 30 man Rumble for an AIW title match as the main event.
--CMLL results from Sunday in Guadalajara: In Memoriam b Indigo, Metatron & Halcon de Plata & Sky Kid b Magnum & Epectrum & Exterminador, Azteca de Oro & Hippie & Black Metal b Sadico & Acertijo & Demonio Rojo, Rey Cometa b Okumura-DQ, Euforia & Ultimo Guerrero b La Mascara & Diamante Azul
--CMLL Monday night results from Puebla before 1,900 fans: Millennium & Asturiano b Akron & Blue Center, Stigma & Super Camaleon b Taurus & Artillero, Virus & Raziel & Cancerbero b Nitro & Escandalo & Hooligan, Shocker & Rey Bucanero won Parejas Increibles tournament over Diamante Azul & Psicosis, El Hijo del Fantasma & Felino, Maximo & Mephisto, La Mascara & Dragon Rojo Jr., Mistico & Ultimo Guerrero, Rush & Euforia and Stuka Jr. & Namajague. (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims)
--CMLL from last night in Guadalajara: Virgo & Leo b Ebola & Demonio Maya, Stukita & Astral & Pequeno Halcon b Mercurio & Pequeno Violencia & Pequeno Olimpico, Marcela & Goya Kong & Silueta b Zeuxis & Princesa Blanca & Princesa Sugei, La Sombra & Mascara Dorada & Maximo b Dragon Rojo Jr. & Rey Escorpoin & Polvora-DQ, Rayo de Jalisco Jr. b Universo 2000
--Squared Circle Wrestling on 4/8 in Whitby, Ontario at the Class Act Dinner Theater has Josh Alexander vs. Tyson Dux (managed by Jimmy Korderas) and Michael Elgin vs. Colt Cabana.
--Spring Breakers, which features Jeff Jarrett, opens in Australia on 5/9 (thanks to James Stanios)
--Jimmy Hart, Brian Blair and Lanny Poffo will be appearing at the 7th annual Koncert 4 Kiddz to raise money for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation on 4/5 at the Sheraton Riverwalk in Tampa. Hart will be performing at the show.
--The Kickstarter program to fund a Baron Von Raschke movie has topped the initial fundraising goal of $20,000.
--Aaron Aguilera, Paul London and El Jefe will be on the Season 11 premiere episode of Operation Repo tonight at 10 p.m. on Tru TV.
--Bill Cunningham, a Cincinnati radio personality who was friends with Brian Pillman, was doing a Dusty Rhodes impersonation on the radio and prank calling people named Ric Flair at http://youtu.be/e7-hH9kP9cQ
(thanks to Adam Sanders)