Also in this week's issue:
--Match in Mexico that got rave reviews even though it was short
--Main event from 23 years ago still headlining today
--A nostalgia show featuring the return of a number of stars in their 60s
--A look at the weekend AAA TV taping and the next tapings
--What may be the last Budokan Hall wrestling sellout for a long time
--Details of this year's Champion Carnival tournament
--First night pairings and bracketing
--More craziness in Japan from Nobuo Shiraishi
--Update on the All Japan junior heavyweight tag team tournament
--New Japan stars going to NOAH for big matches
--Notes on NOAH's upcoming Global tag team tournament
--New Japan working with the NWA and other U.S> indie groups
--Japanese star announces retirement
--Son of Hall of Famer about to debut next month
--Sean Waltman talks injures when he tore up his ass, literally, wrestling Jerry Lynn
--Fund raisers for Scott Hall
--More on Extreme Rising canceling shows, wanting their title belt back and more
--Former WWF star fighting for life, questions why company helps other but not him
--Former ROH champion talks retirement
--Former WWE star in a movie role
--More notes on the Joe Weider pro wrestling connection
--What legendary pro wrestler used to appear in Weider barbell ads
--65-year-old territorial legend announces a comeback to build for his group's biggest show of the year and brings up a murder to build his angle
--WWE wrestler appears in foreign promotion based on contract clause
--TNA stars appearing in Puerto Rico
--Update on former wrestling announcer Bob Caudle
--A look back at the days when local station personalities handled the area wrestling
--Funny story about a wrestler playing a prank on a sportscaster
--80s star home burns down
--Story behind Charlie Haas leaving ROH, both the altercation and why people were so upset at him
--A look at ROH's show in Asheville
--More stations that could be getting ROH
--A look at changes in Spike TV and what they are looking at as far as changing image
--A look at TNA writing
--Hulk Hogan talks HHH taking over
--A title forgotten about
--UFC's debut on Fox Sports 1
--UFC champion getting married
--Lots of UFC cuts
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Story behind Dan Hardy's ailment and his fighting future
--Nick Diaz's future as things stand
--Updating this season of Ultimate Fighter as the final episode approaches
--A look at the ending of the Bellator season
--Ken Shamrock coming out of retirement
--More notes on World Series of Fighting ratings
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.
Sunday's News Update
--Bryan and I will be back tonight talking WrestleMania, Invasion Attack, Dragon Gate USA and more at
--The New Japan show today was unreal. Second best show I've seen all year behind the Tokyo Dome show. There are guys who you never hear about there like Tomoaki Honma who are just incredible workers. Everyone is talking about the main event, as the should, but this was a great undercard. Lots of great stories in matches told. The Minoru Suzuki story was just perfect in getting him ready for another big show singles main event. He's so different from everyone else and so great at what he does. In his own way, he's the most underrated worker in the business because he's nothing short of fantastic, but in ways nobody else is.
--Kazushi Sakuraba suffered either a dislocated elbow or broken arm landing badly on a suplex from Yuji Nagata earlier today. He's getting it checked out tomorrow. It was really sick looking. They had to stop the match in midstream. Was an awesome match as well.
--They did a really cool thing bringing out Japan's three of Japan Olympic wrestling gold medalists (no Saori Yoshida) and having Manabu Nakanishi (who repped Japan in 1992) come out with them and talk about supporting wrestling getting back into the Olympics. I'd love to see one of the U.S. promotions, whether pro wrestling or MMA, preferably both, do something similar with Jordan Burroughs.
--Trish Stratus announced last night that she was pregnant.
--WWE sent legal reps to Wrestlecon today and seized all WWE merchandise. The company got an order from the court that allowed them to seize any material of theirs being sold within five miles of the venue. There were people involved with Wrestlecon outright told that the WWE didn't want people piggy backing off their show, and saying it would come across bad to do so. Nobody listened because all the indie groups made more money and had bigger crowds this weekend than for any shows they could possibly put on.
--Rob Van Dam and MVP were both at the Hall of Fame ceremonies last night, which led to tons of speculation that they are WWE bound. Van Dam did a radio interview saying he's already made a deal with either TNA or WWE but he's not going to say which one. MVP and WWE have had dialogue for months and he hasn't been with New Japan the past few tours.
--Also at the ceremony were Sean Waltman, Larry Zbyszko (to see Bruno Sammartino), Trina Michaels and Tommy Dreamer.
--Dwayne Johnson and Ric Flair weren't there.
--TMZ ran a report about how Angelina Pivarnick from Jersey Shore tried to get free tickets to today's show but never heard back. We heard pretty much the entire Jersey Shore cast is supposed to be there. Snooki at least at one point was scheduled to perform in some fashion.
--Latest odds, as silly as that is, are Cena being a strong 7-1 favorite, Undertaker being a 12-1 favorite, HHH is a 10-3 favorite, Del Rio is an 11-4 favorite, The Shield are 9-2 favorites, Miz is a 9-4 favorite, Ryback is a 5-1 favorite, , Team Hell No are 11-8 favorites, Fandango is a 10-3 favorite and the Brodus Clay team is a 9-4 favorite. You would think at least two underdogs should be booked to win.
--While I think it's smart that WWE pushes that they draw more people to WrestleMania than the Super Bowl (true in some years, not in others), it's kind of embarrassing watching the press lap it up as if it's something meaningful. The Super Bowl is going to draw as many people as a stadium will hold. This year's Mania sold out a month ago, but the Super Bowl sells out as soon as tickets are out and at much higher prices. Mania hasn't sold out most of the past several years as far as actual paid tickets. And even so, as big as Mania is, it's a joke to compare it with the Super Bowl. Stephanie was quoted about saying it's their goal to blow away revenue of the Super Bowl. Besides, there are a number of college football programs that draw more than 75,000 every Saturday for home games, and that isn't as if their random home game is better than WrestleMania.
--There are roughly six times as many explosives for this show as a usual Raw show.
--For UFC, me, Josh Nason, Todd Martin and Mike Sawyer all went 5-0 last night. After a disastrous start of the year, I'm 10-0 the last two shows, which more says there weren't a lot of upsets. Steve Bourchardt and Mike Sempervive were 4-1. Bourchardt missed on Mitrione vs. DeFries and Sempervive on Couture vs. Pearson. Oliver Copp was 3-2, missing on Couture and Pablo Garza.
--Bob Backlund was selling signed posters for his first 1978 MSG title shot at Billy Graham in the back of MetLife Stadium this afternoon.
--G.I. Joe Retaliation is estimated to do $21.1 million for No. 2 on the charts this week. It's already at $86.7 million domestic. The Call is No. 9 at $3.5 million, which is really good for week three. At $45.5 million, it blows away any movie WWE Films has ever had a hand in. Spring Breakers with Jeff Jarrett was No. 11 at $1.2 million.
--G.I. Joe Retaliation was No. 2 for the weekend in Australia doing $5.8 million. (thanks to James Stanios)
--Fuel tonight has Ultimate Fighter from 9-11 p.m. and a replay of yesterday's Sweden show at 11 p.m. It's a good show.
--Dana White will be speaking at Noon tomorrow at Stanford University to the School of Business.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1934 - Dan Koloff (who Ivan was named after) beat Henri DeGlane in Paris to win the France version of the European heavyweight title
1984 - Javier Cruz beat Dandy in Monterrey to win the NWA welterweight title
1985 - Yumi Ogura beat Mika Komatsu to win the Japanese women's jr. title
1986 - WrestleMania II took place in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, the first and only Mania to have more than one location, with one hour in each city. Hulk Hogan beat King Kong Bundy to keep the WWF title in one of three main events. The other main events were Mr. T over Roddy Piper via DQ in a boxing match and a Battle Royal, won by Andre the Giant, that included a number of NFL stars. The best match was the WWF tag title bout where Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith beat Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake to win the WWF tag team titles.
POLL ON IMPACT
46.2% of those responding didn't see the show
POLL ON SMACKDOWN
51.4% of those responding didn't see the show
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF UFC FROM SWEDEN?
65.2% of those responding didn't see the show
WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING ON WATCHING?
Invasion Attack 18.0%
27.4% didn't or aren't planning to watch either
WHO WAS THE BEST OF THESE ON INTERVIEWS?
Ric Flair 75.3%
Terry Funk 24.7%
--Empire Wrestling Federation from Friday night in Covina, CA: Raccid Najjar b Andy Brown, Billy Blade b Patient Zero, Ironman b Sledge, Von Dooms b Anchors Away & Flecha Fugaz, Sugar Sweetz & Brute Baretto b Brarndon Gatson & SoCal Crazy, Rock Riddle (70s star) b Vizzion. They have their 17th anniversary show on 5/3 in Covina, CA at the Knights of Columbus Hall and 5/4 in San Bernardino at MC Sports. (thanks to Frank Mott)
--Real Tennessee Wrestling from last night in Columbia, TN before 100 fans: Satan over Justin Ray and Zack Wild, Norman Cross b Mark Nichols, Antonio Cathey b J.D., Blackjack Brown DCOR J.T. Quest, Randy Whitehead b Johnny Gunnz, Forsaken b Shane Morton-DQ
--Mid Missouri Wrestling Alliance from last night in St. Louis: Andrew Wilder b Mephisto, Lumberjacks Abe & Gabe b Chase King & Matt King, Big Texan b Freddie Fury, A.J. Williams b Brandon Espinosa-DQ, Jimmy D b Brian James, Matt King b Chase King, Dave Osborne b Gary Jackson-DQ (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)\
--Lucha Xtreme from last night on Fresno TV: Mike Rayne b Matt Sparks, Vinnie Massaro b Mustafa Saed of Gangstas fame, Brandon Groom b J.R. Kratos-DQ (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--CNWA Monster Pro Wrestling from last night in Edmonton: Chris Parish b Ken Doll, Kat Von Heez b Sexy Samantha, Bulldog McBain & Irishman b Tyler James & Krazy Kore, Teddy Hart b Kyle Sebastian, Bobby Sharpe NC Vance Nevada, Raunchy Jules & Kato & Dr. Meniak & Sicilian Assassin b Mutato & Sonic Insania & Mascara Diablo, Massive Damage b Steve Rivers-DQ (thanks to Dwayne Soper)
--Big Time Pro Wrestling from last night in Waxahachie, TX: Cowboy Adam b Dr. Nemo Luv, Billy Club b Bulldozer, Joe Angelo Garcia & Corey Saturn b Doberman & Big John Famous, Zack Jackson b Nobe Bryant-DQ (thanks to Rob Moore)
--NWA Smoky Mountain Wrestling claimed 2,017 fans, its all-time record, for a TV taping in Elizabethton, TN. Is that legit?